Florek Sends Teddy Bears Flying: Stingrays Close Out in Shootout Win
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Lawton Courtnall’s second multi-goal game of the year lifted the South Carolina Stingrays (8-6-2-0) past the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (7-7-0-1) by a final score of 4-3 shootout victory on Saturday at the North Charleston Coliseum. With the win, the Stingrays improved to 3-2-2-0 on the season series.
Justin Florek sent the teddy bears flying on the annual teddy bear toss with his team-leading eighth of the season on an attempted give-and-go with defenseman Jordan Subban. Florek tried to thread the needle from the right circle, but it redirected off Greenville’s Kevin McKernan and past the netminder for the 1-0 lead.
The Swamp Rabbits knotted the score at one nearly midway through the second frame as Ben Freeman took his time behind the net before centering a feed for Bryce Reddick. Reddick knuckled the puck over the left shoulder of the Stingrays’ Ryan Bednard for his first of the season.
Court was in session for Courtnall as he sniped his first of the game on the short side under the legs of John Lethemon. The California native doubled the lead six minutes later, cleaning up a rebound on Andrew Cherniwchan’s initial shot, backhanding one into the back of the net. With the helper, Cherniwchan tied Adam Calder for fifth in Stingrays history with 151 franchise assists.
The Swamp Rabbits evened the score on back to back goals beginning with a backdoor feed from Diego Cuglietta onto the tape of Jackson Leef and past Bednard. Quin Foreman completed the comeback on a redirection in front of the net from Ethan Cap.
After a scoreless overtime period, the teams headed to overtime and the experience showed. Subban and Cherniwchan were near carbon copies of each other, getting Lethemon to bite on the shot fake before cutting to the forehand and lifting the puck past the glove. Bednard stopped shots from Matt Bradley and Cuglietta to seal the deal.
Bednard finished the night 30 of 33 while going a perfect two for two in the shootout. Lethemon finished with 30 of his own saves but couldn’t stop a single shootout shot in the loss.
The Stingrays continue their 2021-22 campaign on Sunday, December 5th as the team heads west to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville to finish off a three-in-three series against the Swamp Rabbit