Gaul’s Incredible OT Effort Sends Stingrays Past Florida

Veteran Attacker Provides Memorable OT Ending with Highlight Reel Goal

Gaul’s Incredible OT Effort Sends Stingrays Past Florida
(Bilodeau Family)

ESTERO, Fla. - With time running down in overtime, South Carolina Stingrays (11-9-0-0) forward Patrick Gaul had the puck under control, but didn’t have a stick in his hands. Defenseman Tim Davison quickly gave his twig to Gaul, who seamlessly moved in on the Florida Everblades (10-6-3-0) net and beat goaltender Jeremy Helvig to win the game, 3-2.

The winner, Gaul’s third of the season, came with just six seconds remaining in overtime. The Stingrays also got goals from Shane Eiserman and Jonathan Charbonneau in the contest, while goaltender Parker Milner also came up big, stopping 38 shots.

Zach Nastasiuk put Florida on top initially, with a goal to make it 1-0 Everblades at 15:15 of the first period.

The game was evened up early in the second, however, when Eiserman found the back of the net for his fourth goal of the year. Christian Horn was able to get the puck to his linemate through some net-front traffic and Eiserman was able to finish off the play with a quick shot to the net, evening the contest at 1-1. Defender Cameron Bakker recorded his second assist in as many games for SC with the second helper on the play.

Charbonneau put SC in front for the first time just 48 seconds into the third period, taking a pass from Tad Kozun in front of the net and quickly wristing the puck past Helvig to make it 2-1 South Carolina.

But John McCarron tied things up for the Everblades, scoring at 9:37 of the third to even things at 2-2.

The Rays were outshot 5-3 in overtime, but Gaul had the last laugh, producing the highlight-reel winner in South Carolina’s first overtime game of the 2018-19 season.

Florida out-shot SC 40-22 in the game, while both teams came up empty on the power play. The Everblades finished 0-for-3 on the man-advantage and the Stingrays were 0-for-2. Helvig turned aside 19 shots in a losing effort for Florida.

Now with the week-long series even at one game apiece, the two teams will play a rubber match on Saturday night at Hertz Arena. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. South Carolina will return home next month with some big games including Social Media Night on Dec. 7 and Teddy Bear Toss on Dec. 8.