Six different scorers led the South Carolina Stingrays (28-11-4-1) to a 6-2 win over the Orlando Solar Bears (19-20-5-1) on Friday during Star Wars Night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Four skaters had multi-point efforts including forwards Joe Devin, Steven Whitney and Nick Roberto, who each registered a goal and an assist, while defenseman Travis Walsh added two helpers. Goaltender Parker Milner earned the win by making 23 saves.
The Solar Bears struck first when Tayler Thompson beat Milner to make it 1-0 at 3:31 of the opening period.
South Carolina responded at 11:02 when defenseman Danny Federico took a pass from Whitney and wristed the puck at the net. The shot beat goaltender Mackenzie Skapski to his right and tied the game for the Stingrays. Federico’s third tally of the season also had an assist by Devin.
Devin was the next scorer for South Carolina, blasting a one-timer past Skapski’s glove on the power play at 12:40 of the first to give the Rays a 2-1 advantage. Assists on the first man-advantage goal of the night were credited to Walsh and defenseman Paul Geiger.
Late in the frame, Patrick Gaul won a face-off right to Dylan Margonari, who didn’t waste any time before unleashing a shot that hit the back of the net at 18:28 of the period to make it 3-1 South Carolina.
The Solar Bears scored the only goal of the middle period when forward Joe Perry tapped in a pass in front of the net by Milner to cut the Stingrays lead to 3-2 at 7:51.
Whitney took advantage of an errant pass in front by Skapski and found the back of the net at 6:50 of the third period for his 14th strike of the year to push South Carolina’s lead back up to two goals at 4-2.
Orlando pulled their netminder in the final minutes in an attempt to get back in the game, but Roberto made sure that didn’t happen with an empty net marker from Tommy Hughes at 16:58 of the third. The Wakefield, Mass. native’s second goal of the season grew the Rays’ lead to 5-2.
Finally, after a late penalty to Orlando’s Mike Monfredo had the Stingrays on a power play in the last minute of the game, Hampus Gustafsson batted a pass by Walsh out of the air and into the net for his fifth goal of the season. Scored at 19:30, Gustafsson’s goal also had a second assist from Roberto.
The Stingrays had a 39-25 edge in shots on goal during the game and also won the special teams battle, going 2-for-4 on the power play while holding the Solar Bears to 0-for-3. Skapski turned aside 33 saves for Orlando in a losing effort.
South Carolina now heads to Jacksonville to take on the Icemen on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The Stingrays return to North Charleston to host the Icemen on Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:05 p.m.