'Rays best IceMen 3-1

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - Second period goals by defensemen Joey Leach and Paul Geiger helped the South Carolina Stingrays (23-9-3-1) defeat the visiting Jacksonville Icemen (10-22-3-2) by a score of 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Leach finished with a goal and an assist, while forward Steven Whitney scored an empty net goal to seal the victory for South Carolina in the third period and added an assist on Leach's tally in the win. Goaltender Parker Milner made the start and stopped 16 shots to record his 11th win of the season.

For the third consecutive day in a row at the North Charleston Coliseum, neither the Stingrays nor their opponents were able to score in the opening period.

Halfway through the second frame, Jacksonville took a 1-0 lead when Dajon Mingo scored his first tally of the season at 10:00.

But South Carolina responded at 12:21 when Leach took a pass from Whitney and beat goaltender Colton Phinney with a wrist shot over the glove from the high slot. Leach's fourth goal of the season also came with an assist from forward Tim McGauley.

Paul Geiger gave the Stingrays their first lead of the afternoon minutes later with his second power play goal in as many days at the end of a man-advantage with 1:51 left in the middle frame. Leach and Matt Salhany picked up assists on the goal, which turned out to be the game-winner for South Carolina.

After shutting down the Icemen for the majority of the third period, Whitney iced the game for the Stingrays with an empty net goal at 18:49 of the third period. Whitney's tally was his 13th of the year, which leads the team.

South Carolina won the special teams battle, going 1-for-5 on the power play while holding Jacksonville scoreless on the man-advantage in four chances. The Stingrays also outshot Jacksonville 30-17 in the game. Phinney finished with 27 saves in a losing effort for the Icemen.

The Stingrays hit the road for two games in Norfolk next weekend before returning home to take on the Orlando Solar Bears on Jan. 26 at 7:05 p.m.

-per South Carolina Stingrays