Parker Milner pitched a 38 save shutout of the Orlando Solar Bears (18-19-5-1) in front of 8,831 fans in a 5-0 win for the South Carolina Stingrays (26-10-4-1) on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Kelly Zajac also starred in the victory for the Stingrays with two goals, while Nick Roberto scored his first professional goal along with an assist and Hampus Gustafsson found the back of the net for the fourth time in five games.
South Carolina’s Steven Whitney and Frankie Simonelli each registered two assists in the contest, which was the second consecutive victory on the weekend over the Solar Bears.
The Stingrays got the scoring started 20 seconds into their second man-advantage opportunity of the evening when Zajac struck for his second power play goal in as many nights by deflecting a shot from Taylor Cammarata behind goaltender Mackenzie Skapski. Simonelli picked up the second assist on the tally that came at 18:27 of the opening frame.
Then in the second period, South Carolina made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal created by Roberto, who found Gustafsson with a no-look drop pass in the offensive zone. The rookie forward beat Skapski with a quick wrist shot for his fourth goal of the year at 12:45.
Zajac broke things open at 7:19 of the third period by jamming a loose puck home for his second of the night and 12th goal of the year. Assists went to his linemates Whitney and Joe Devin and South Carolina was up 3-0 and in control of the game.
Roberto’s first-career tally was the second shorthanded strike for South Carolina on the night and made it 4-0 at 11:44 of the third period. The rookie got a pass from Gustafsson off the wall on the right wing in neutral ice and sped past Orlando’s defense before deking to the backhand and sliding the puck into the net past Skapski.
Forward Tim McGauley added the final tally with just one second left on the clock to finish off the 5-0 win. While on their final power play, McGauley blasted a shot up high past Skapski for his eighth goal of the season with assists from defenseman Danny Federico as well as Whitney.
South Carolina finished 2-for-4 on the power play and also added the two shorthanded goals during Orlando’s 0-for-5 night on the man-advantage.
Orlando had an edge in shots on goal during the contest, 38-32. Skapski finished with 27 saves in the loss.
The Stingrays finish up their home 3-in-3 on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Norfolk Admirals at the North Charleston Coliseum at 3:05 p.m.
-per South Carolina Stingrays