Stingrays let lead slip away, lose in OT

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (12-7-2-0) came from behind to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays (10-4-3-1) 5-4 on an overtime goal by Allen McPherson Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Forward Taylor Cammarata led the way for the Stingrays with two goals, while defenseman Frankie Simonelli added a goal and an assist and forward Andrew Cherniwchan picked up two assists in the loss.

South Carolina got out to a fast start and took an early lead with a good first period. Kelly Zajac opened the scoring with a power play goal from Cherniwchan and goaltender Parker Milner at 4:22. Zajac's second man-advantage goal in as many days came off the rush with a wrist shot after a pass came from Cherniwchan who was on the right wing.

Next, Cammarata added to the lead with a goal from Frankie Simonelli at 11:39 of the first. The rookie's first tally of the night was his fourth of the season and came after he grabbed the puck on the right-wing wall and moved to the center of the zone before wristing it to the top right corner of the net.

Caleb Herbert got Greenville on the board at 6:04 of the second period and cut the SC lead to 2-1 before Austin McKay deflected a puck past Milner to tie the game at 2-2 less than two minutes later at 8:03.

But the Stingrays re-gained control of the contest at 11:39 of the second frame and took a 3-2 lead when Simonelli found the back of the net on a blast from the point. Assists on the goal came from Cherniwchan and forward Robbie Baillargeon.

Cammarata extended the lead to 4-2 for South Carolina at 1:07 of the third period with his second of the night and fifth of the season from forward Joe Devin and defenseman Joey Leach. Devin brought the puck into the zone on a rush and kept it on his stick until he reached the goal line before hitting Cammarata with a feed for the goal.

Greenville made it a one-goal game at 12:07 of the third when Herbert scored his second of the contest to cut the score to 4-3.

The Swamp Rabbits evened the score back up at 4-4 on a late power play goal by Joe Houk that came as a 6-on-4 tally with goaltender Ty Rimmer off the ice in favor of an extra attacker and won the game just 14 seconds into overtime when McPherson took a pass from Houk and beat Milner over his blocker.

Greenville outshot the Stingrays 38-19 in the game, with Rimmer making 15 saves to pick up a win. Milner stopped 33 shots for South Carolina in a losing effort.

The Stingrays were 1-for-3 on the power play in the contest, while Greenville was 1-for-9, scoring their only man-advantage goal on their ninth and final opportunity to tie the game.

South Carolina and Greenville will renew their rivalry Tuesday night with another matchup at the North Charleston Coliseum. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.

-per South Carolina Stingrays