Stingrays Drop Opener in Florida

The Stingrays opened a weekend series in Florida with an 8-3 loss on Friday
The Stingrays opened a weekend series in Florida with an 8-3 loss on Friday(South Carolina Stingrays)
Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 12:48 AM EST
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ESTERO, FL – John McCarron’s hat trick led the Florida Everblades (17-8-3-3) past the South Carolina Stingrays (10-16-3-0) by a final score of 8-3 on Friday night at Hertz Arena.

South Carolina jumped out to the first lead of the night as Ben Holmstrom hammered home his second of the season. A diving play from newcomer Nick Isaacson kept the puck in the crease where Holmstrom found himself alone for the 1-0 lead.

An odd-man rush left Levko Koper alone in front of the net off an open pass from Alex Aleardi, tying the game at one. Koper flicked the wrist and slid a shot between the legs of Ryan Bednard to tie the game. A minute later, Blake Winiecki found himself a step ahead of a backcheck and fired a shot into the back of the net past a sliding Bednard to take the 2-1 lead.

Holmstrom struck again for the Stingrays with under three minutes left in the opening stanza, this time tying the game at two. Back from his stint with the Hershey Bears, Jordan Subban led the power play with a slap shot that kicked to Holmstrom who found the back of the net for his second goal of the night.

Florida would find one more before the end of the period from John McCarron for the go-ahead goal. McCaron fought his way past the Stingrays defense and as he got taken down to the ice, popped a shot over Bednard’s shoulder for the 3-2 lead.

Three more goals in the second period ballooned the Everblades lead to four. McCarron tallied his second straight goal as he collected a bouncing puck and made a beeline towards the net for the 4-2 lead. Aleardi intercepted a pass in front of Bednard and fired home his lone goal of the game before McCarron completed the hat trick by slamming home an Aleardi rebound for the four-goal lead.

The Everblades would tack on two more in the third period off the tape of Winiecki for his second of the contest as well as John Pendenza’s lone goal of the night. With Bednard sprawling to his right, Winiecki fired home a rebound before another odd-man rush left Pendenza alone on the right circle to beat a stretched out netminder.

Alex Brink would net one more for the Stingrays before the final horn. In his Stingrays debut, Maurizio Colella pestered the Everblades defender, taking all eyes off of Brink who pickpocketed the puck and snapped his fourth goal of the year.

The Stingrays continue their 2021-22 campaign on Saturday, January 8th in Estero, Fla. to take on the Everblades for the second straight night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. at Hertz Arena. You can catch all the action on the Stingrays Broadcast Network, Flohockey, and Mixlr.