Danny Federico scored with 1:56 remaining in the third period to give the South Carolina Stingrays (33-11-5-1) a 3-2 win over the Norfolk Admirals (21-27-5-1) on Tuesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Forwards Dylan Margonari and Tim McGauley also scored goals for South Carolina in the victory, while goaltender Jeff Jakaitis made 30 saves to pick up his 14th win of the year.
Tuesday’s game completed the eight-game regular season series between the two South Division opponents with South Carolina winning six of the matchups and going 6-1-1 overall against the Admirals.
Norfolk’s Grant Besse got the scoring started for the Admirals, potting a rebound at 4:29 of the opening period with assists from Chase Harrison and Christian Horn.
South Carolina tied the game at 1-1 on Margonari’s 13th of the year at 12:57. The forward was helped by defenseman Kris Bindulis, who kept the puck in the offensive zone with a chip play that fell to Margonari, who had plenty of room on the inside of the left circle. The second-year forward then unleashed a wrist shot that beat goaltender Jamie Murray under the left arm to even the contest. Forward Taylor Cammarata was credited with the second assist on the goal, his 14th helper of the year.
While on a power play in the final minute of the frame, Tim McGauley gave the Stingrays their first lead of the night with an amazing individual effort to make it 2-1. The Wilcox, Sask. native danced down the right wing and moved toward the net from a short angle before sliding the puck around Murray from the side and into the goal. It was the 12th tally of the lead for McGauley, who now has 34 points during his second professional season.
With the first assist on McGauley’s goal, Stingrays’ captain Joe Devin tied his career-high with 41 points this season in 49 games. The second helper was added to defenseman Travis Walsh.
After a scoreless second period, the Admirals got back in the game and evened the score at 2-2 on a strike by Darik Angeli at 13:15 of the third.
But Federico broke the deadlock at 18:04 with his fourth goal of the season right after a face-off win in the offensive zone for South Carolina by forward Hampus Gustafsson. The rookie center slid the puck back to the defenseman on the left point and Federico immediately fired a shot to the top right corner of the net to give the Stingrays the lead for good.
McGauley’s goal was the only successful power play attempt of the night as the Rays were 1-for-2 and the Admirals were 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.
Murray finished with 31 saves for Norfolk in a losing effort, while South Carolina had the edge in shots on goal by a 34-32 count.
The Stingrays are back in action this 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 at 7:05 p.m. and will also play on Saturday at 7:05.