The South Carolina Stingrays (1-2-0-0) prevailed to secure their first win of the 2018-19 season in a high-powered, roller coaster game Tuesday night at the Amway Center, defeating the Orlando Solar Bears (1-2-0-0) by a final score of 6-5.
Five Stingrays skaters had multi-point performances in the win, including a goal and an assist for forwards Grant Besse, Jonathan Charbonneau and Matt Pohlkamp, while defensemen Kevin McKernan and Tim Davison each posted two assists. The victory also gave head coach Spiros Anastas his first professional coaching win.
The two teams traded goals in a first period that saw 35 total shots between the clubs. First, forward Grant Besse beat Orlando goaltender Corbin Boes for his second goal in as many nights just 37 seconds in. His wrist shot came after assists from forward Jonathan Charbonneau and defenseman Kevin McKernan.
South Carolina held on to their 1-0 lead until the final minutes of the period when Nolan Valleau scored during a 4-on-4 situation at 17:10 to knot things up at 1-1.
Mike Chen gave the Rays the lead right back just 45 seconds later with the team’s first short-handed goal of the season from Matt Pohlkamp at 17:55.
But Orlando’s Brady Shaw got his team right back to even at 2-2 with a tally at 18:57 and sent the teams into the locker room all tied up.
The Stingrays took over the game in the second frame, scoring four times to take a commanding 6-2 advantage. Charbonneau got things started and made it 3-2 Rays with a power play snipe just 47 seconds into the period from Besse and Christian Horn.
Forward Matt Pohlkamp continued the momentum for SC when he went in on a breakaway after a pass by Tim Harrison and beat Boes with a backhand shot for his first goal as a member of the Stingrays to make it 4-2.
Sam Fioretti was the next forward to join in on the scoring spree, posting his first professional goal to extend the lead to 5-2 at 12:40 with assists from defensemen Tim Davison and McKernan.
Forward Jake Kamrass capped off the scoring in the period with his third strike in as many games to begin the season at 18:75 from forward Tad Kozun and Davison.
But the Solar Bears weren’t done and scored three straight in the third to make the Stingrays sweat. Valleau notched his second of the game at 7:53, McAuley added his third of the season at 12:49 and Hunter Fejes cut the lead to just one goal, 6-5, at 14:27.
A late penalty to Kozun for high-sticking put Orlando on the power play for the ninth time in the contest and the Solar Bears pulled Boes to give themselves a 6-on-4 advantage, but goaltender Parker Milner and the Stingrays were able to hold the lead, highlighted by a few extra effort plays by Harrison in the final seconds.
There were a total of 90 shots on goal in the offensive-filled contest, with the Solar Bears out-shooting South Carolina 49-41. The Stingrays finished 2-for-6 on the power play, while Orlando ended at 2-for-9 on the man-advantage after going zero for their first seven opportunities.
Milner secured the victory with 44 saves, while Boes took the loss after making 35 stops.
The Stingrays return to North Charleston to open their home schedule vs. Greenville on Saturday with Opening Night: Capitals Championship Celebration presented by STASH Storage at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are on sale now!
Season tickets are also on sale now! For more information or to purchase, contact the Stingrays by phone at 843-744-2248 or visit 3300 W. Montague Ave. Suite A-200 during business hours.