Forward Shawn Weller buried two goals, but the Orlando Solar Bears (3-1-1-0), behind a hat trick from Nick Petersen, defeated the South Carolina Stingrays (3-3-0-0) 5-3 at the Amway Center Thursday night.
The Solar Bears grabbed a 2-0 lead early in the first period off power-play goals from forwards Ryan Cruthers at 4:30 and Olivier Fortier at 5:15. The Stingrays cut the lead in half at 8:16 when Weller deflected a shot from defenseman Kevin Quick past the glove of Solar Bears goaltender John Curry (W, 27 saves on 30 shots). Forward Andrew Cherniwchan earned the second assist. Petersen reclaimed a two-goal lead for Orlando moments later slapping a pass from forward Matthew Sisca past Stingrays netminder Shawn Hunwick (L, 35 saves on 40 shots) from the top of the left-wing circle. The Stingrays pulled it back within one at 18:41 with a tally from Weller. Forward Alden Hirschfeld and defenseman Tommy Cross grabbed assists.
Petersen netted his second tally of the night to make it 4-2 at 12:50 of the second period.
The Stingrays pushed back 25 seconds into the third period when forward Tyler McNeely capitalized on a 5-on-3 man advantage. Cross and defenseman Ryan Turek registered assists. Petersen completed the hat trick and the game scoring at 4:21. The Stingrays ended the night 1-for-4 on the power play while the Solar Bears went 2-for-4.
The Stingrays wrap up a three-game road trip tomorrow, Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. against the Florida Everblades at Germain Arena and return to the North Charleston Coliseum on Tuesday, October 30 to battle the Solar Bears at 7:05 p.m. on 2-for-1 Ticket night. Join the Stingrays for Hockey Happy Hour from 6-7 p.m. with $2 beer and wear your Halloween costume for a chance to win great prizes during our Stingrays Halloween Costume Contest!