North Charleston, SC –The South Carolina Stingrays (23-8-1-3) erased three deficits, but fell to the Charlotte Checkers (16-10-3-1) 5-4 Sunday night in front of 4,242 at North Charleston Coliseum. Rookie Dain Prewitt scored two goals and an assists in the loss.
Checkers forward Jean-Phillipp Chabot started the scoring early in the first period knocking a loose puck under the glove of Stingrays goaltender Todd Ford at 3:47. Forward Aaron Slattengren recorded the only assist on Chabot’s fifth goal of the season. Forward Randy Rowe put the Checkers up 2-0 on the power play at 9:38 from defenseman Julien Brouillette and center Michel Leveille. The Stingrays cut the lead in half with a goal off the blade of forward Matt Fornataro at 13:07 beating Checkers goaltender Miika Wiikman between the legs. Rookie Rob Ricci earned the assist on Fornataro’s team-leading 18 goal of the season.
The Stingrays tied the contest at two just 5:50 into the second period thanks to Prewitt from Ricci and center Gregg Johnson. Rowe regained a one-goal lead for the Checkers on the power play at 12:05 from Tyler Doig and Leveille. The Stingrays answered back less than five minutes later with a tally from G. Johnson at 17:03 from Fornataro and Prewitt to tie the contest at three heading into the second intermission.
The Checkers grabbed a 4-3 lead at 5:41 of the third period as Doig buried a wrist shot under the pads of Ford from the top of the right-wing circle. Defenseman T.J. Reynolds and Leveille recorded the assists. South Carolina continued to battle and was rewarded on the power play at 9:54 with Prewitt’s second goal of the night from Trent Campbell and Keith Johnson. Moving late into the third period, Andrew Carroll iced the game for the Checkers poking in a loose puck along the right-wing post of Ford at 15:26 from Chabot and Slattengren. Ford finished the night stopping 25 of 30 Checkers shots. Wiikman earned his fifth win of the season punching away 21 of 25 Stingrays chances. Charlotte ended the night 2-for-8 on the power play while the Stingrays finished 1-for-7.
Ring in the New Year with the Stingrays on Thursday, December 31 at 7:05 p.m. against the Florida Everblades. Thursday is also FREE PARKING! Ticket packages and individual tickets are on sale now! Call the Stingrays front office at (843) 744-2248 for more information. For all the latest Stingrays news, visit www.stingrayshockey.com