Stingrays trail 0-2 in series to Solar Bears

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - Two second-period goals were enough for the Orlando Solar Bears to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays in Game 2 of their first-round South Division Semifinals series Saturday night, winning by a score of 2-1 at the North Charleston Coliseum to take a 2-0 series lead.

Forward Mason Mitchell scored the only goal of the night for South Carolina, which came in the third period to get the Rays within a goal of the Solar Bears. Goaltender Parker Milner turned aside 21 shots in the loss for the Stingrays and also assisted on the team's lone strike.

After a scoreless first period for the second consecutive game, forward Max Novak struck on the power play for the Solar Bears just 38 seconds into the second to give Orlando a 1-0 advantage.

J.J. Piccinich then extended the lead to 2-0 for Orlando at 18:37 of the middle frame, scoring off a turnover in the SC zone with an assist by defenseman Sam Jardine.

The Stingrays cut it to a one-goal game at 9:21 of the third when Mitchell scored the first SC goal of the postseason with a wrist shot from the high slot that got by goaltender Cal Heeter. Assists on the play were given to defenseman Joey Leach as well as Milner, who started the rush by moving the puck in the Rays' end.

But the Rays couldn't get an equalizer past Heeter in the final minutes of the contest and fell short by a single tally.

Orlando had the only power play goal of the game, finishing 1-for-2 on the man-advantage. South Carolina was held scoreless with an extra attacker at 0-for-3.

Heeter picked up a win for the second consecutive game in the series, stopping 23 Stingrays shot attempts on net. The Rays outshot the Solar Bears 24-23 in the contest.

-per South Carolina Stingrays