NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - Three second period goals by the Orlando Solar Bears (8-9-3-0) were enough to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays (10-4-2-1) at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday night with a final score of 4-2.
Stingrays goals were scored by forwards Dylan Margonari and Kelly Zajac, while goaltender Jeff Jakaitis turned aside 20 shots in a losing effort between the pipes.
Margonari gave South Carolina an early 1-0 advantage with the first goal of the game, his fourth of the season, at 10:01 of the first period from Joe Devin and Taylor Cammarata. The rookie Cammarata left the puck to Devin behind the net and the captain waited a second before finding Marongari open in front for a quick shot that beat goaltender Cal Heeter on his blocker side.
The Solar Bears took control of the game in the middle period, scoring three times in the frame and led 3-2 going into the third.
First, Orlando evened the game at 5:07 on a tally by Kristian Pospisil that made it 2-2.
South Carolina did re-take the lead 2-1 at 10:48 when Zajac struck for his third goal of the season on the power play from Frankie Simonelli and Andrew Cherniwchan. Zajac beat Heeter with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that went to the upper right corner of the net.
But the Solar Bears found the back of the net on a power play chance to even the game at 2-2 when Darryl Bootland deflected a shot by defenseman Sam Jardine past Jakaitis.
Orlando took their first lead of the night in the final minute of the period on an unassisted breakaway goal by forward Martins Dzierkals at 19:28.
Despite out-shooting the Solar Bears 9-4 in the third, South Carolina was unable to get back in the game and surrendered an empty net goal to Max Novak at 19:02 of the final frame that sealed the win for Orlando.
The Stingrays had the edge in shots in the game, 27-24, while both teams finished 1-for-4 on the power play. Goaltender Cal Heeter picked up the victory for the Solar Bears with 25 saves.
South Carolina will complete their home weekend on Sunday afternoon when they battle the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 3:05 p.m.