Joe Devin scored in the final minute of the third period and Andrew Cherniwchan netted the game-winner in overtime for the South Carolina Stingrays (6-1-0-0) in a 4-3 defeat of the Reading Royals (5-2-1-0) on Tuesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Cherniwchan was one of three Stingrays with multi-point games, scoring a goal and an assist. Defenseman Travis Walsh also had a goal and an assist, while forward Kelly Zajac, who played against his brother Nolan for the first time in his career, had two helpers.
Goaltender Jeff Jakaitis improved to 5-0 on the season for South Carolina, making 28 saves to pick up the victory.
Both teams found the back of the net in the first period and were even at 1-1 after 20 minutes. Reading got an initial lead on a goal by forward Mark Naclerio on a shot from the left wing at 5:27.
South Carolina evened things up in the final seconds of the frame on a wrist shot by Steven Whitney that hit the twine with just 11 seconds remaining. Assists on the tally went to Zajac and Robbie Baillargeon.
Naclerio regained the lead for Reading late in the middle frame, scoring at 18:29 to give the Royals a 2-1 advantage going into the third period.
Walsh answered for South Carolina 2:00 into the third, scoring his second of the season from Cherniwchan and defenseman Danny Federico to tie the game at 2-2. The blueliner showed offensive skill, securing space for himself with a nice move in the offensive zone before beating Reading goaltender John Muse with a quick shot up high.
At 11:52 Naclerio finished off the hat trick and made it 3-2, scoring his third of the game on the power play from the front of the net with assists to Matt Willows and Adam Schmidt.
With Jakaitis at the bench for an extra attacker in the last minute, the Stingrays tied the game back up for a third time at 3-3 when Devin knocked a rebound in front past Muse. Assists on the goal went to Zajac as well as defenseman Frankie Simonelli.
South Carolina had possession of the puck for almost all of overtime and won the game when Cherniwchan deflected a shot by Walsh past Muse for the winner at 1:27 of the extra session. Forward Dylan Margonari earned the second assist on the winning tally.
Reading did win the special teams battle, going 2-for-3 on the power play in the game while South Carolina finished 0-for-1. The Royals out-shot the Stingrays 31-29 in the contest. Muse finished with 25 saves in a losing effort for Reading.
The two teams complete their mid-week series on Wednesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.