The Greenville Swamp Rabbits used a third period comeback to force overtime and capitalized on a power play in the extra session to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays 4-3 in a preseason exhibition game at the Carolina Ice Palace Saturday night.
Forward Nick Roberto led the way for South Carolina in the team’s preseason finale with two goals, while forward Nick Johnson recorded two assists. Forward Steven Whitney also picked up a goal for the Stingrays in team’s two-goal second period.
Dawson Leedahl was the hero for Greenville with two goals including the game-winner in overtime.
Roberto’s first goal came on the power play from Johnson and Kelly Zajac at 18:23 of the opening period and the Stingrays took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
After Leedahl tied things up at 2:06 of the second, Whitney gave the Rays the lead once again with a strike from Johnson and defenseman Paul Geiger at 11:59.
Roberto then added to the lead with his second of the night to make it 3-1 South Carolina from forwards Robbie Baillargeon and Taylor Cammarata at 16:22.
But the Rays’ lead evaporated in the third period on goals by Nick Betz and Evan Jasper and the teams headed to overtime tied 3-3.
An early penalty to Paul Geiger for holding 38 seconds into the extra period gave the Swamp Rabbits a 4-on-3 advantage and Leedahl found the game-winner in front of the net at 1:02 from Allen McPherson and Sergey Zborovskiy.
Jeff Jakaitis took the loss in net for the Stingrays, making 39 saves. Greenville started the contest with Eric Levine who made 15 saves on 16 shots in 30:34 of ice time. Greg Dodds came in halfway through the game for the Swamp Rabbits and earned the win with 10 saves.
The Stingrays open their 25th anniversary season at the North Charleston Coliseum on Oct. 20 against Greenville at 7:05 p.m.