NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Parker Milner stopped 36 shots in his return to action and helped the South Carolina Stingrays (23-17-2-0) hold off their in-state rival, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (14-26-3-2) by a score of 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Forwards Grant Besse and Patrick Gaul scored goals for the Stingrays in the victory, while Tim Harrison added an assist. South Carolina has now won three of their last four games.
Dylan Vander Esch opened the scoring for Greenville, netting his seventh goal of the season to give the Swamp Rabbits a 1-0 lead at 11:08 of the first period.
South Carolina evened the game at 1-1 on a breakaway goal by Besse at 3:44 of the second. After the Stingrays killed off a slashing penalty to Sam Fioretti, Besse grabbed the puck in his own end and went coast-to-coast before finishing with a wrist shot for his 16th tally of the year.
Later in the frame, Gaul scored his sixth goal of the year at 14:08 while the team was killing a penalty to Andrew Cherniwchan. The veteran started out on a rush with Harrison, who picked up the only assist on the tally, and finished off a broken play in front of the Greenville net. The shorthanded goal was South Carolina’s ninth of the season and put the team in front 2-1, where they stayed for the remainder of the game.
Milner was perfect in the third period, stopping all 15 shots the Swamp Rabbits put on goal in the final frame. The goaltender also aided in killing two penalties in the third which gave Greenville some additional chances.
Both teams came up empty on the power play in the contest with the Stingrays ending at 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. South Carolina was 0-for-2 on the man-advantage. Goaltender Chris Nell stopped 29 shots in a losing effort for the Swamp Rabbits, who outshot the Rays 37-31 in the game.
The Stingrays picked up two more points and are in a second-place tie with the Jacksonville Icemen in the ECHL’s South Division.