Charlotte, NC –The South Carolina Stingrays (24-8-1-4) scored three goals in the third period, but fell 5-4 in the shootout to the Charlotte Checkers (18-10-3-1) at Time Warner Cable Arena Wednesday night. The Checkers outshot the Stingrays 51 to 31.
The Stingrays struck first early in the opening period when Stingrays forward Michael Dubuc lit the lamp unassisted at 4:55 beating Checkers goaltender Miika Wiikman low blocker-side from the bottom of the right-wing circle. Through 20 minutes of play, the Checkers outshot the Stingrays 17 to 8.
The Checkers responded with three second-period goals to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. Checkers captain Michel Leveille tied the contest at 3:27 beating Stingrays goaltender Parker Van Buskirk. Defenseman Steve Ward and forward Tyler Doig received assists. Forward Andrew Carroll gave the Checkers their first lead of the night at 5:32 from Matt Schepke and T.J. Reynolds. Checkers defenseman Julien Brouillette put the Checkers up by two at 7:07 sneaking a shot between the legs of Van Buskirk. Carroll recorded the only assist on Brouillette’s sixth goal of the season.
The Stingrays started the comeback early in the third period with a tally from forward Trent Campbell just 50 seconds in. Forward Jake Hauswirth and defenseman Nate Kiser recorded assists. Forward Matt Scherer tied the contest at three at 12:33 from Rob Ricci and Grant Farrell. The Checkers reclaimed the lead late in the third thanks to forward Aaron Slattengren at 18:13 from Doig. The Stingrays pulled Van Buskirk for the extra attacker and capitalized with 21 seconds left to play. Defenseman Dylan Yeo fired a loose puck over the glove of Wiikman from between the circles to tie the score at four.
Overtime was not enough to decide a winner and a shootout was needed. Keith Johnson, Dubuc and Yeo converted on the breakaway, but Charlotte put three goals of their own past Van Buskirk and Carroll iced the game for the Checkers on the final shot of the final round. Van Buskirk finished the night stopping 46 of 50 Checkers shots in his Stingrays debut. Wiikman kicked away 27 of 31 Stingrays chances for his seventh win of the season. The Stingrays finished the night 0-for-2 on the power play while Charlotte also ended the game 0-for-2.
The Stingrays continue their three-game road trip Friday, January 8 in Gwinnet to face the Gladiators at 7:35 p.m. at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. Listen to the game LIVE at www.stingrayshockey.com!
The Rays return to North Charleston Coliseum Sunday, January 10 at 4:00 p.m. against the Gwinnett Gladiators. Come out and celebrate the Dog Days of Winter where fans can bring their dogs to the game. Dog tickets are $5 dollars with all the proceeds going towards Pet Helpers Animal Shelter.
Join the Stingrays on Sunday for Kid’s Day featuring $5 kid’s tickets and a pregame kid’s carnival. It is also Adopt-a-Dog Sunday with Camp Bow Wow. Be sure to stop by their table on the main concourse to see the Adoptable Dog of the Night. Stick around after the game for Post-Game Autographs with your favorite Stingrays players. 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.comwith your favorite Stingrays players. 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