3 Third Period Goals Send Solar Bears Past Rays

3 Third Period Goals Send Solar Bears Past Rays
The Stingrays dropped their 2nd game to Orlando in 3 days on Friday with a 5-3 loss (Source: South Carolina Stingrays)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Orlando Solar Bears (26-18-4-1) relinquished an early lead but came from behind in the third period and got a hat trick performance from forward Tristin Langan to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays (19-16-7-3) by a 5-3 score on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.

VIDEO: Stingrays fall to Orlando on Friday, 5-3

Stingrays’ goaltender Matt Jurusik was busy in the crease all night, turning aside 40 shots, while linemates Mark Cooper and Dan DeSalvo each tallied a goal and an assist for South Carolina in the contest.

The Solar Bears took the lead just 1:19 into the game when the team’s leading scorer Aaron Luchuk scored to make it 1-0. Orlando added to their advantage at 7:54 of the opening frame on Langan’s first strike of the contest to extend the score to 2-0.

Cooper cut the lead down to 2-1 with his seventh goal of the year at 12:56 of the first off of a pass through the crease by forward Cole Ully. A second assist on the play was credited to DeSalvo, who evened the game up at 2-2 with his 12th goal of the year under three minutes later at 15:45. Cooper had the only assist, taking an initial shot which was stopped by goaltender Clint Windsor before DeSalvo shoved home a loose rebound.

SC took a 3-2 lead with 2:04 to play in the first period when defender Zach Malatesta netted his fifth goal of the season off a setup by captain Andrew Cherniwchan. Forward Justin Florek picked up the second assist on the goal, which was scored at 17:56.

Neither team got on the board in the middle period, which was mostly controlled by Orlando, who outshot the Rays 16-6 in the frame but were held at bay by Jurusik.

But the Solar Bears broke through just 2:07 into the third when Tyler Bird deflected a puck up high and into the net to tie things back up at 3-3.

Langan’s second tally of the night put Orlando ahead for good 4-3 at 9:05, before the attacker scored an empty net goal at 19:09 to seal the victory for the visitors.

Both clubs came up empty on the man-advantage, going 0-for-3 on their respective power plays. Windsor secured the victory for the Solar Bears, stopping 26 South Carolina opportunities in the contest. Overall, Orlando had a shots-on-goal edge of 45-29.

The Stingrays are back on the North Charleston Coliseum ice Saturday night to face Jacksonville for Space Wars Night at 6:05 p.m.