Stingrays Can’t Overcome Early Deficit In Loss to Greenville

South Carolina Stingrays hockey
South Carolina Stingrays hockey(Live 5 News)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 10:58 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, SC – The South Carolina Stingrays (13-20-4-0) couldn’t dig themselves out of an early hole as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (11-15-3-3) claimed victory on Wednesday night behind Aydan MacDonald’s hat trick. The Rabbits picked up the 7-2 victory at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Greenville got out to a hot start with four goals falling in the first 20 minutes of play. The rookie, MacDonald, picked up his first career goal, firing a shot past the reaching Ryan Bednard off a faceoff for the 1-0 lead.

Ben Freeman doubled the lead with his fourth of the season at the 14:46 mark of the opening stanza. Freeman broke free of his defender and slid the puck past a sliding Bednard.

MacDonald added to the lead with his second of the game. Brett Kemp and Anthony Rinaldi used quick passing to find the rookie on the backside where he beat a sprawled out goaltender before Anthony Beauchamp finished off the first period less than 30 seconds later by crashing the net and tipping one past the end line.

The Swamp Rabbits expanded their lead with two more goals in the second period beginning with a three-on-one rush where Kemp found Shawn Cameron for the tip-in goal, his first of the season. Kemp finally tucked one of his own before the period expired, using speed to race in front of the net and pop the puck to the top shelf, making it a 6-0 lead at the end of two periods.

Kristian Stead came in to relieve Bednard at the start of the third period and made seven saves in his ECHL debut. The netminder had some offensive help starting with Derek Gentile’s fourth goal of the season since arriving in the lowcountry two weeks ago. Justin Florek picked up the assist, feeding Gentile in front of the net where he lifted the puck over the shoulder of John Lethemon.

After returning to the Stingrays earlier today, Ryan Dmowski made sure people remembered his name by redirecting a Tariq Hammond shot for his second tally of the season.

With time winding down in the third period, Rinaldi and MacDonald forced another odd-man rush where the latter sniped his third goal of the game for his first career hat trick and the 7-2 victory.

The Stingrays are back in action this Friday, January 28th as the team heads to Norfolk, Va. for the start of a three game set against the Admirals at Norfolk Scope Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.