ORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - After being forced into action in the middle of the second period, South Carolina Stingrays (8-6-0-0) goaltender Gordon Defiel stopped 13 shots and preserved a 1-0 shutout win over the Florida Everblades (5-5-2-0) on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Adam Morrison started the game for South Carolina and made 16 saves in the first 29:52, while captain Joey Leach scored the only goal of the contest in the second period, his first tally of the season.
Neither team was able to break through in the opening period. Then, with the score still at 0-0, Morrison had to exit the game with an injury at 9:52 of the middle frame. Defiel replaced him for his first ECHL appearance of the season.
Less than four minutes later, Leach broke the deadlock with his first goal of the season, scoring with a blueline blast on the power play at 13:50 from Christian Horn and Matt Pohlkamp.
South Carolina outshot Florida 16-7 in the middle period and took their 1-0 advantage into the third. During the final frame, the Rays held on with smart defensive plays and timely saves by Defiel.
Florida had a slim edge in shots at the final buzzer, 29-28, but the Blades were held off the scoreboard. Leach’s power play goal had the Stingrays 1-for-4 on the power play, while Florida was 0-for-2 on the man-advantage. Goaltender Jeremy Helvig made 27 saves for the Everblades in a losing effort.