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Stingrays Sink Ice Pilots 6-4

By: Mike Kelly
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Six separate players scored goals with Brendan Bernakevitch leading the way offensively by scoring a goal and adding two assists for South Carolina as the Stingrays downed the Pensacola Ice Pilots 6-4 in front of 3,202 fans at the North Charleston Coliseum.

“We’re happy to get the two points,” South Carolina coach Jason Fitzsimmons said. “It’s nice that we’re not relying on one line to do the scoring. Even though we picked up the win, we have to be better prepared for Augusta tomorrow at home.”

South Carolina (17-14-2, 36 points) started with a scoring barrage. Just 49 seconds into the contest, Matt W. Reid netted a breakaway power play tally for his 10th of the season beating goaltender Ben Gray from Cail MacLean and Marc Busenburg, who was reassigned from Hershey of the American Hockey League.

Chris Chaput made it 2-0 for the Stingrays at the 1:37 mark, notching a wraparound marker for his 13th goal of the season. Matt Stefanishion and Nate Kiser drew assists.

South Carolina’s Bernakevitch scored a shorthand goal from Ryan Bennett and T.J. McElroy at 3:44 of the first giving the Stingrays a 3-0 lead.
Pensacola (9-21-2, 20 points) got on the scoreboard on the power play. Sergei Ogorodnikov let go with a shot from the right circle and got the puck past netminder Davis Parley. Helpers went to Mike Wirll and Niko Tuomi, who was making his Ice Pilots debut after being acquired in a trade from the Florida Everblades on Wednesday.

Peter Szabo got that one back for the Stingrays by counting his fifth goal of the year at 11:56 with the man advantage. Bernakevitch and Donny Grover garnered assists.

In the second, MacLean took a nice pass from Evan Schwabe and converted his 13th goal of the campaign. Reid also picked up a helper giving South Carolina a 5-1 lead.

David Wrigley re-directed home his sixth of the year at 18:18 on the power play from former Stingrays forward John Hecimovic and Tuomi.

In the third, Dwayne Hay scored a bizarre goal firing a shot off the end glass bouncing on the back of Parley and trickling over the line for his 10th of the year, making it 5-3. Hecimovic and Tuomi collected assists.

Then at 15:39, Wirll converted on a Travis Lisabeth pass and buried his 20th of the campaign to close the gap to one at 5-4 in favor of South Carolina.

However, the Stingrays’ Cam McCaffrey ripped a shot from the slot with 2:14 remaining in regulation to put the game out of reach. Bernakevitch and Nate Kiser registered helpers.

South Carolina went 3-for-9 with the man advantage, while Pensacola converted on 4-of-10 opportunities. Ice Pilots outshot the Stingrays 38-35.

The Stingrays continue their three-game homestand at 7:05 p.m. on Friday against the Augusta Lynx at the North Charleston Coliseum. The game is presented by Charleston County Recycling and it’s Family Fun Friday featuring four tickets, four hotdogs, four sodas and a program for just $44.

Join Mike Kelly, “Voice of the Stingrays” for live play-by-play action on ESPN Radio 910 The Team and online at www.stingrayshockey.com beginning at 6:50 p.m. with the Benito’s Pregame Show. Watch the game live on the web telecast for $6 each at www.stingrayshockey.com, courtesy of B2 Networks.

Don’t miss the fast-paced, action-packed, family affordable fun! Partial season ticket packages are available by calling (843) 744-2248.

Individual tickets can be purchased at the North Charleston Coliseum box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (843) 554-6060 and online at www.ticketmaster.com.

Discounted groups tickets, birthday packages, Kids Club information and fundraiser opportunities are available by calling (843) 744-2248 or by visiting online at www.stingrayshockey.com. Stingrays Hockey – A Whole Lot Cooler!


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