MANCHESTER, NH - The Manchester Monarchs (28-11-4-4) got the best of the South Carolina Stingrays (24-18-2-1) on Saturday night at the SNHU Arena, defeating SC 5-3 behind two goals from forward Dryden Hunt and 36 saves by goaltender Sam Brittain.
Rookie forward Steven McParland scored a goal and an assist for South Carolina, while Marcus Perrier and Scott Tanski also registered goals for the Stingrays in defeat.
Manchester took control of the game in the first period and never let up, scoring three times in the opening frame. Cory Ward got the scoring started with a tally at 10:17 before Quentin Shore made it 2-0 with his 16th goal of the year at 11:32.
The Monarchs secured a 3-0 lead before the first intermission on a marker from Tim Bozon at 16:17.
South Carolina got on the board when Perrier scored his fifth tally of the year from McParland and Domenic Monardo at 2:15 of the second period. After some good work down low in the offensive zone, McParland got the puck out to Perrier on the right point for a shot that beat Brittain to the top left corner of the net and cut the Manchester lead to 3-1.
The Stingrays continued to produce chances in the Monarchs' end of the ice during the second period but failed to score. Just before the second intermission, Hunt scored his first of the night with 59 seconds remaining on the clock to stretch Manchester's advantage to 4-1.
Hunt scored again at 7:12 of the third to give the Monarchs a 5-1 lead. Stingrays' head coach Ryan Warsofsky then made a goaltending change, removing Adam Carlson from the game in favor of the recently acquired Steven Summerhays. In his first appearance for South Carolina, Summerhays made three saves in just over 10 minutes of playing time. Carlson finished the game with 27 stops of his own.
Immediately after the change in netminders, the Stingrays moved the puck up ice and produced a goal at 7:29 to make the score 5-2. With perseverance at the front of the net, Tanski scored his sixth tally of the year, putting home a rebound off a shot by defenseman Wade Epp. Forward Rob Flick also got credit for an assist, his 20th helper of the year.
Later on in the period while the Rays were on a power play, the team pulled Summerhays for an extra attacker. With the two-man advantage, McParland deflected a puck past Brittain at 18:13 of the third to cut the lead to 5-3 and secure his 13th goal of the season. Assists on the late tally went to Kelly Zajac and John Parker.
The Stingrays continue their six-game road trip on Tuesday night with a matchup against the Adirondack Thunder at 6 p.m. South Carolina returns home to face Orlando on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the North Charleston Coliseum at 3:05 p.m.