11 different players recorded a point Friday night as the South Carolina Stingrays (32-11-5-1) defeated the Jacksonville Icemen (18-28-3-3) 5-2 at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Forwards Dylan Margonari and Joe Devin each posted a goal and an assist in the first period for the Stingrays, while forward Tim McGauley notched a goal and an assist in the third period.
Devin’s points gave him an even 40 for the season, which leads the team and is one behind his career-high of 41 during the 2015-16 year.
Margonari scored the first goal of the night for South Carolina, redirecting a pass by Joe Devin past goaltender Colton Phinney at 8:09 of the opening period. Defenseman Joey Leach picked up the second assist on the goal, his 14th helper of the year.
Just 1:13 later, Margonari returned the favor, hitting Devin with a pass for a goal while shorthanded at 9:22 of the first to extend the SC lead to 2-0. While killing a penalty to McGauley, Margonari won a battle for the puck in the Rays’ offensive zone and got it over to Devin, who knocked the puck into the net for his 14th goal of the season.
At 3:58 of the second period forward Nick Roberto made it 3-0 with the team’s second shorthanded goal of the night from Hampus Gustafsson and Paul Geiger. The second goal while down a man for Roberto this season and his third overall during his rookie year came after Gustafsson hit him with a pass that set up a breakaway opportunity. The Wakefield, Mass. native used a forehand-backhand move to deke Phinney and put a backhand shot up high to the top of the net.
Jacksonville got on the board with a goal from Tanner Eberle at 13:37 of the second period. The tally cut the Stingrays lead to 3-1.
South Carolina re-took a three-goal advantage in the third when Patrick Gaul scored his 11th goal of the year by winning a battle in the offensive zone and shooting from a tough angle that deflected off a Jacksonville player and in. Defenseman Travis Walsh, as well as McGauley, received assists on the play, which made it 4-1 in favor of the Stingrays.
The Icemen cut the score to 4-2 at 11:50 of the third period when Eli Lichtenwald scored his first career ECHL goal.
In the final minute, Jacksonville pulled their goaltender in exchange for an extra attacker in a last-ditch effort to get back in the game. It proved unsuccessful and resulted in the fifth goal of the night for South Carolina when defenseman Marcus Perrier cleared the puck all the way down the ice and McGauley won the race to get it before putting it into the empty net for his 11th goal of the season. Goaltender Parker Milner earned the second assist on the play, his fourth helper of the season.
Milner stopped 31 shots in the contest to pick up his 17th win of the season. The netminder is second-best in the ECHL with a goals-against average of 2.03 through 23 appearances on the year.
Although they scored twice shorthanded, South Carolina came up empty on five power play opportunities in the game. The Icemen were 1-for-4 on the man-advantage and outshot the Stingrays 33-32 in the game. Phinney took the loss for Jacksonville, stopping 27 shots.
South Carolina is back in action next weekend when they host the Brampton Beast in a two-game series at the North Charleston Coliseum. The teams will first square off on Friday, Feb. 23 at 7:05 p.m. and will also play the next day on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:05.