Rays Outrun Fuel, 3-1
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays (25-20-10-3) scored once in each period and got 40 saves from goaltender Alex Dubeau to defeat the Indy Fuel (30-21-5-0) by a score of 3-1 on Tuesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum in the opener of a two-game set between the two clubs this week.
Forwards Tim Harrison and Dylan Steman led the way offensively, each securing a goal and an assist, while team captain Andrew Cherniwchan scored his 17th goal of the season in the victory. Cherniwchan has now posted points in seven consecutive home games.
Indy picked up the opening goal of the game when Jared Thomas beat Dubeau on a breakaway at 7:23, but SC tied things up 18 seconds later on Harrison’s fourth strike of the season.
The attacker came into the offensive zone and initially tried a centering pass, but it got blocked back to his stick. He decided to shoot for the top left corner and successfully sent it into the net, tying the game at 1-1. Assists on the strike went to Zach Malatesta as well as Steman.
Steman added on to the lead with a shorthanded goal in the middle frame, netting his 13th off the rush from Harrison at 11:07 to make it 2-1.
With Indy attempting a comeback in the third, Cherniwchan found the back of the net at 12:26 to give the Rays insurance in the final frame. His 17th goal of the year came from forwards Mark Cooper and Matthew Weis, who has now secured points in eight straight games for SC.
The Fuel were unable to get any closer later in the game as Dubeau kept everything he saw in front of him, piling up 16 saves in the third period alone.
South Carolina won the special teams battle, going 1-for-2 on the power play while holding Indy to an 0-for-3 mark on the man-advantage. Bakala suffered the loss for the Fuel, turning aside 23 shots in defeat. Indy had the edge in shots-on-goal during the contest, 41-26.
The Stingrays and Fuel will face-off again on Wednesday night to conclude their season series at the North Charleston Coliseum at 7:05 p.m.