The South Carolina Stingrays (8-8-0-0) were unable to climb out of an early hole and fell to the Jacksonville Icemen (11-5-0-0) 3-2 on Tuesday night at the Veterans Memorial Arena.
Defensemen Cameron Bakker and Kevin McKernan scored goals in the contest for the Stingrays, while goaltender Parker Milner was excellent in the contest and turned aside 25 shots in a losing effort.
The Icemen got ahead early and took control of the game with two tallies in the opening 20 minutes. First, Dajon Mingo gave Jacksonville a 1-0 lead 2:22 into the contest before Colton Veloso doubled the advantage to 2-0 at 9:52.
South Carolina battled back in the second period and outshot the Icemen 13-7, but neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the middle frame.
The Rays took control of the game in the final period, once again outshooting Jacksonville 15-5. Bakker got on the board with his first ECHL goal and found life for South Carolina at 4:59 of the frame when he fired a loose puck toward the net. The biscuit got deflected on its way to the cage and past Icemen netminder Mikhail Berdin to make it a 2-1 game. Forward Jonathan Charbonneau was credited with an assist on the play.
Jacksonville responded later in the period at 12:23 when Kris Newbury was able to put a rebound past Milner to extend the Icemen lead to 3-1.
McKernan cut things down to a one-goal game quickly thereafter, scoring his third tally of the year from Andrew Cherniwchan and Nick Roberto at 14:30. The defender was open in the slot and fired a wrist shot past Berdin to get his team right back within one just over two minutes after Newbury had extended the lead.
The Stingrays pulled Milner and did all they could to even the score with an extra attacker, but fell short. After getting outshot 16-5 in the opening frame, South Carolina ended up out-shooting Jacksonville 33-28 in the game.
Berdin picked up the win for the Icemen in between the pipes, making 31 saves. Both sides were unable to score on the man-advantage as Jacksonville finished 0-for-2 and SC ended at 0-for-3.
The Stingrays move on to face Orlando at the Amway Center on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. SC returns home next month for some big games including Social Media Night on Dec. 7 and Teddy Bear Toss on Dec. 8.
Tickets are 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.