Brandon McNally scored at 3:11 of overtime to give the Cincinnati Cyclones a 2-1 win over the South Carolina Stingrays in the two teams’ lone meeting of the regular season Wednesday night at U.S. Bank Arena.
Defenseman Paul Geiger scored the only goal of the night for South Carolina during a power play in the second period, while goaltender Parker Milner recorded 17 saves in a losing effort.
The two teams played a scoreless first 20 minutes to get the game underway, with SC having the edge in shots on goal, 5-2.
Geiger gave the Stingrays a 1-0 edge at 13:09 of the middle frame, scoring his eighth goal of the season and his second in as many games off a one-timer on a pass by forward Kelly Zajac who returned to the lineup Wednesday for the first time since Feb. 2. The power play strike also came with a second assist from defenseman Kris Bindulis.
But Cincinnati evened the game at 1-1 on a goal by forward Justin Vaive at 5:25 of the third. The goal was initially waved off by the officiating crew, but the call on the ice was changed. The tally came during a delayed penalty to South Carolina.
With the teams still tied at the end of regulation, overtime was needed to decide the contest.
McNally ended the game with a slap shot from just inside the Rays’ blue line that got past Milner to the top right corner of the SC net.
Cyclones’ goaltender Jonas Johansson stopped 26 shots for Cincinnati in the game to pick up a victory. The Stingrays outshot the Cyclones 27-19 in the contest. South Carolina finished 1-for-2 on the power play and held Cincinnati to 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.
By gaining one point from the loss, South Carolina’s magic number is down to three points to secure a spot in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Stingrays now have 77 points in the ECHL standings and are three points back of the Florida Everblades for first in the South Division.
South Carolina will continue their midwest road trip this weekend in Toledo against the Walleye beginning Friday at 7:15 p.m. The squad returns to North Charleston on March 9 to take on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:05.