Forward Hunter Bishop scored a goal and two assists, but the South Carolina Stingrays (13-14-1-3) fell to the Cincinnati Cyclones (16-8-2-0) 6-5 at U.S. Bank Arena Friday evening.
Cyclones defenseman David MacDonald netted the game's opening goal at 7:56 of the first period lifting a shot past the blocker of Stingrays goaltender Ryan Zapolski (L, 9 saves on 15 shots) from left-wing circle.
The Cyclones quickly made it a 3-0 lead early in the second period behind two power-play goals from forward Dan Eves at 2:06 and 7:31. Defenseman Damon Kipp put the Stingrays on the board while on the man advantage at 9:06 knocking a rebound past Cyclones netminder Michael Houser (W, 31 saves on 36 shots). Forwards Robby Dee and Bishop earned assists. Forward Josh Birkholz reclaimed a three-goal lead for the Cyclones on the power play at 15:54.
The Stingrays mounted a comeback early in the final period burying three quick goals to make it 4-4. Bishop cut the lead in half with an unassisted goal at 3:02 and forward Matthew Pistilli pulled the game within one on the power play at 5:47 with help from defenseman Scooter Vaughan and forward Chris Langkow. Seconds later, rookie Justin Courtnall knotted up the contest with his first professional goal tipping a shot between the legs of Houser at 6:26. Winger Andrew Cherniwchan and blueliner Luka Vidmar picked up assists.
Cincinnati jumped back in front at the 8:25 mark with forward John McFarland's seventh tally of the year. Stingrays defenseman Art Bidlevskii locked up the score again with his first professional marker with 9:08 to play in the contest from Bishop and forward Tyler McNeely. Forward David Pecan sealed the victory for the Cyclones at 12:13. The Stingrays ended the game 2-for-3 on the power play while the Cyclones went 3-for-3.
The Stingrays wrap up their season series against the Cyclones tomorrow, Saturday, December 22 at 7:35 p.m. at U.S. Bank Arena and return to the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday, December 29 at 7:05 p.m. to host the Wheeling Nailers. Celebrate the holidays with over 200 men and women of our armed forces on Ft. Jackson Holdover Troops Night presented by the USO and Verizon.