The South Carolina Stingrays (42-15-6-1) won in a shootout for the third consecutive game and picked up victory No. 42 of the season Friday night, topping the Orlando Solar Bears (31-27-6-3) by a 2-1 score at the Amway Center.
Goaltender Parker Milner led the way for SC with 23 saves in regulation, a perfect 3-for-3 mark in the shootout and an assist on the only Stingrays goal of the night. Forward Patrick Megannety picked up the lone strike for the Rays in the game, scoring his fourth goal of the season while the team was shorthanded early on in the first period.
South Carolina grabbed the lead at 2:57 of the opening frame when Megannety rushed into the offensive zone with a 2-on-0 opportunity while forward Tad Kozun was in the box for a high sticking infraction. The second-year forward beat Orlando goaltender Cal Heeter with a wrist shot to the blocker side to give the Rays the early advantage on the scoreboard. Assists on the tally came from defenseman Danny Federico as well as Milner.
Orlando evened the contest at 1-1 in the middle frame when Max Novak beat Milner with a quick strike off a face-off in the Rays’ end at 7:20.
But the two goaltenders held the opposing teams off the board for the remainder of regulation and overtime, including both squads going 0-for-5 on the power play in the game.
Kelly Zajac was the only player to convert in the shootout, scoring in the first round of the skill session. The next five shooters were unable to find the back of the net and South Carolina won the shootout 1-0 to secure the victory. It was their third straight game this week that went to a shootout and all three have been won by the Rays.
The Stingrays also had the edge in shots on goal during the game, 35-24. Heeter finished with 33 stops in the loss for the Solar Bears.
South Carolina and Orlando finish their three-game set at the Amway Center on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The Rays return home to host the Kalamazoo Wings in the teams’ only matchup of the season on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at the North Charleston Coliseum.