The South Carolina Stingrays (4-0-0-0) scored the first four goals of the game and stayed unbeaten on the new season with a 5-2 defeat of the Norfolk Admirals (2-5-0-0) on Saturday night at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
Defenseman Marcus Perrier scored twice in the first period to give the Stingrays an early lead while forward Robbie Baillargeon added two assists and forwards Steven Whitney and Tim McGauley notched two helpers apiece.
Goaltender Jeff Jakaitis turned aside 17 shots to earn his fourth win in as many starts for the Stingrays.
Perrier’s first goal came at 11:37 of the opening period after he had an initial shot attempt blocked. He then got his own rebound and put the puck in the back of the net to give the Rays a 1-0 advantage. Assists on the tally went to Whitney and Baillargeon.
The fourth-year Stingray came right back on the ice and found the net again on his next shift just 1:58 later at 13:29 of the first period. Perrier found himself wide open in front of the net coming on a rush into the zone and Baillargeon hit him with a perfect pass, giving the Thunder Bay, Ont. native lots of time to beat Norfolk goaltender Ty Reichenbach. The second assist on the play was credited to Kelly Zajac.
Forward Dylan Margonari added to the lead and made it 3-0 at 1:23 of the second, scoring his first goal of the year on a break into the Norfolk zone off a pass by McGauley.
Zajac ripped a shot past Reichenbach on the power play at 4:46 for his second goal in as many nights to increase the lead to 4-0. Assists were given to defenseman Travis Walsh as well as Whitney.
Brody Dupont cut the Rays’ lead to 4-1 at 13:59 and South Carolina took a 3-goal lead into the third period.
The final Stingrays tally was defenseman Paul Geiger’s first of the season on the power play from McGauley and Baillargeon at 2:31 of the third.
Norfolk’s second strike ended the scoring at 11:51 when Alex Pompeo lit the lamp for the Admirals.
South Carolina finished 2-for-7 on the power play in the game, while Norfolk was held to an 0-for-5 man-advantage for the second straight night. The Stingrays dominated the shots on goal count, out-shooting Norfolk 36-19 in the contest. Reichenbach took the loss in between the pipes for the Admirals, making 31 saves.
The Stingrays return to action on Friday in Greenville against the Swamp Rabbits at 7 p.m.
South Carolina is back at home Sunday, Nov. 5 to take on the Jacksonville Icemen at 3:05 p.m.
-per South Carolina Stingrays