INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Trailing by a goal going into the third period, the South Carolina Stingrays (25-18-2-0) scored three straight times to defeat the Kansas City Mavericks (22-18-2-1) at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena on Saturday night and split the weekend series between the two clubs.
South Carolina was led by three forwards who each had a goal and an assist in the game in Andrew Cherniwchan, Tad Kozun and Jordan Samuels-Thomas. Goaltender Parker Milner stopped 27 shots in the game for the Rays to earn his 11th win of the season against his former team.
SC took the lead at 8:09 of the opening period when Cherniwchan fired a rebound from the high slot up high and into the net for his team-leading 18th goal of the season. The Hinton, Alta. native’s tally came with assists by Kozun and defender Cam Bakker.
Kansas City responded just over a minute later when Darian Dziurzynski scored on the power play at 9:25 to even the game at 1-1.
Later in the frame, the Mavericks took a 2-1 lead with a goal by Nate Widman on a blast from the center of the offensive zone at 13:20.
After a scoreless second period in which Kansas City outshot the Rays 11-10, South Carolina turned it on and took the game over in the third.
An early penalty to Dziurzynski for tripping secured a power play for the Stingrays and the road team went to work, setting up in the offensive zone and firing shots to the net. A blast from the point by defender Tim Davison bounced off the back boards and right to Kozun, who slammed it into the net for his 12th goal of the season at 3:41 of the third and tied the game up at 2-2. Cherniwchan picked up the second helper on the play.
Samuels-Thomas put SC in front later in the frame with his first goal as a member of the Stingrays from defenseman Chris Leone and forward Josh Gratton. The West Hartford, Conn. native put a wrist shot underneath goaltender Mason McDonald to make it a 3-2 game at 8:53.
Kansas City pulled McDonald for an extra attacker late in the contest but didn’t get many chances at the Rays’ net before Grant Besse received a pass from Samuels-Thomas and put the puck into the empty net to give South Carolina a two-goal lead with 1:24 remaining in the contest. The second assist on the final goal went to forward Shane Eiserman.
The Stingrays outshot the Mavericks 33-29 in the win. Both teams went 1-for-3 on the power play. McDonald suffered the loss for Kansas City in between the pipes, stopping 29 shots.