Taylor Cammarata led a third period comeback for the South Carolina Stingrays (8-2-2-0) by scoring his first two professional goals and Steven Whitney converted during a power play in overtime in a 4-3 defeat of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (9-3-2-0) in front of a loud crowd of 6,016 on Marvel Super Hero Night Saturday at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Forward Nick Roberto added assists on each of Cammarata’s goals for his first professional points, while defenseman Frankie Simonelli added two assists and Nick Johnson scored his sixth goal of the season for South Carolina. Goaltender Parker Milner made 21 saves and was excellent late in the game for the Stingrays, earning his second win of the season.
The Swamp Rabbits struck first on an opening goal by Caleb Herbert at 8:50 of the first period. It was the lone tally of the first 20 minutes and Greenville had a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
Johnson scored just 1:17 into the second to tie things up at 1-1 with assists by Joe Devin and Simonelli. The team’s leading goal scorer fired a shot from just inside the Greenville blue line that beat Brandon Halverson up high to get the Rays back in the game.
Later in the frame, Greenville re-took the lead when Dawson Leedahl made it 2-1 at 16:09 and gave the visitors a one-goal edge as the two teams headed to the third period.
South Carolina had many chances in the second half of the middle period and early on in the third, but couldn’t solve Halverson, despite having a large edge in shots on goal. Herbert then added insurance for Greenville at 6:59 and gave the Swamp Rabbits a commanding 3-1 advantage.
The Stingrays continued to out-work Greenville and were able to strike at 13:16 when Cammarata scored his first as a Stingray, wristing a puck from the side of the net past Halverson on the short side to make it 3-2. Assists on the goal went to Mike Krieg as well as Roberto.
Just 2:20 of game time elapsed before Cammarata struck again, this time in a goal-mouth scramble at 15:36 of the final frame. The Plymouth, Minn. native got just enough on the puck to push it past the goal line and tie the game at 3-3 with assists from Dylan Margonari and Roberto.
Neither team was able to get a winning tally despite chances on both sides in the final minutes of regulation and the game headed to overtime.
Swamp Rabbits’ defenseman Joe Houk was called for goaltender interference at 2:57 of the extra session after driving to the Stingray net and knocking over Milner. South Carolina set things up on the 4-on-3 man-advantage and worked the puck to Whitney, who let go a laser at the top of the left circle for his fifth goal of the year. The shot that whizzed past Halverson was assisted by Kelly Zajac and Simonelli.
The game-winner was the only power play goal of the contest, with South Carolina finishing 1-for-4 on the man-advantage, while Greenville ended at 0-for-4. Halverson stopped 32 shots in a losing effort, while the Stingrays outshot the Swamp Rabbits 36-24 in the game.
South Carolina travels to Atlanta to face the Gladiators on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. The Stingrays return to the North Charleston Coliseum on to host the Orlando Solar Bears on Dec. 2 at 7:05 p.m.
-per South Carolina Stingrays