Stingrays Breakout with Finale Win over Jacksonville
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - An offensive breakout from the South Carolina Stingrays (13-19-4-0) lifted them over the Jacksonville Icemen (22-10-2-1) by a final score of 6-3 during the Sunday matinee at the North Charleston Coliseum. Ben Holmstrom celebrated his 700th professional hockey game with a goal and assist in the victory.
Jacksonville found themselves with an early lead as Ben Hawerchuk tallied his eighth goal of the season. Hawerchuk found himself on an odd-man rush, racing in towards the net and squeezing one by Ryan Bednard for the 1-0 lead.
South Carolina struck back with two of their own to finish out the opening stanza. Barret Kirwin skated on a two-on-one rush with Derek Gentile, and fired home his first professional hockey goal from the left circle. Alex Brink added on by sniping the puck over the glove of Justin Kapelmaster to take the first lead of the weekend for the Stingrays.
Early into the second period, Gentile slid home his own goal to double the Rays lead. Tariq Hammond stopped the puck from leaving the attacking zone, and sent a shot on net that rebounded to Gentile on the right circle where he fired it into the back of the net.
Two Stingrays penalties 11 seconds apart gave the Icemen a five-on-three power play where they utilized nearly all the time before Joey Sides flung one over Bednard, cutting the deficit to one just over five minutes into the middle period.
Nick Isaacson regained the Stingrays two-goal advantage late in the second period, slicing a shot from Hammond out of the air and past Kapelmaster. Isaacson’s tuck on the power play was his second of the season.
Over halfway through the third frame, Jacksonville’s Vladislav Mikhalchuk brought the Icemen back within one, slamming a loose puck into the back of the net. Brendan Harris disrupted a clearing attempt from Bednard where Mikhalchuk found himself alone in front of the crease for the goal.
Brink recorded his second goal of the afternoon, cleaning up a rebound and expanding the Stingrays lead back to two. Jade Miller fought off the defender and fed Brink who lifted the puck over a sprawling Kapelmaster for Miller’s second assist of the night.
Holmstrom iced the game with 1:09 remaining in regulation after receiving a lofted puck from Connor Moore and outracing the defense for the empty net goal.
The Stingrays are back in action on Wednesday, January 26th as the team heads to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena for an intra-state matchup with the rival Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.
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