5-2 Win Gives Stingrays Sweep of Komets

5-2 Win Gives Stingrays Sweep of Komets
The Stingrays completed a 3-game weekend sweep of Ft. Wayne with a win on Sunday (Source: South Carolina Stingrays)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Three power play goals and 32 saves from goaltender Hunter Shepard helped the South Carolina Stingrays (15-12-6-2) pick up a 5-2 win over the Fort Wayne Komets (10-4-2-1) Sunday afternoon which earned them a sweep of the weekend series between the two teams at North Charleston Coliseum.

VIDEO: 5-2 Win Gives Stingrays Sweep of Komets

Justin Florek starred in the game for the Stingrays, scoring two power play goals and an assist, while Dan DeSalvo had a goal and an assist and Cole Ully notched three helpers.

DeSalvo opened the scoring on the power play by knocking a rebound past goaltender Jeremy Helvig at 13:14. The initial shot came from defender Zach Malatesta, while Ully was credited with the second assist on the first strike of the afternoon that made it 1-0.

Later in the frame during a penalty kill for SC, forward Tim Harrison caught a headman pass from Florek and broke in alone to the Fort Wayne end before burying a backhand shot to the top right corner of the net. Harrison’s third tally of the year put the Rays on top 2-0 at 19:25.

But Fort Wayne responded just 16 seconds later to make it 2-1 when Brandon Hawkins redirected a shot past Shepard to get his team back within a goal before the end of the first period at 19:41.

The Stingrays broke open the game in the middle frame, scoring twice while outshooting the Komets 13-11. Florek netted his first of the night on the power play at 2:43, tapping home a pass by Ully from right in front of the net. With SC opening up a 3-1 lead, a second assist on the play went to Malatesta.

Darien Craighead extended the advantage to 4-1 with his second goal in as many games and sixth of his rookie season on a rebound from Brett Supinski and Dylan Steman at 12:51.

After receiving a cross-check in the back from Fort Wayne’s Morgan Adams-Moisan, Florek won the face-off to start the ensuing power play and eventually banged home a rebound for his second goal of the day 31 seconds into the third. The goal to put SC ahead by a 5-1 margin came with assists from DeSalvo and Ully.

Fort Wayne got one closer at 12:49 of the third when Adams-Moisan scored on the power play, but was unable to put anything else past Shepard and the Stingrays held on for a 3-goal victory.

South Carolina finished 3-for-5 on the man-advantage in the game, while the Komets went 2-for-4 on the power play. Fort Wayne led in shots on goal, 34-23. Helvig stopped 18 shots for the Komets in a losing effort.

The Stingrays are back at the North Charleston Coliseum on Wednesday night to face the Jacksonville Icemen at 7:05 p.m. before hosting the Orlando Solar Bears next weekend for three straight contests March 26-28.