Angus Redmond made 38 saves and forwards Tad Kozun and Cam Askew each recorded three points as the South Carolina Stingrays (21-16-2-0) dispatched the Orlando Solar Bears (19-16-3-0) 4-1 on Friday night in the first of three games between the two teams this week at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Kozun led the way for the Stingrays with two goals and an assist, while Askew assisted on both of Kozun’s tallies and added an empty net goal to seal the victory for the Rays. For Redmond, it was his third win of the season over Orlando in three tries.
Both teams had two first period power plays and gained momentum from their respective man-advantages, but neither were able to get on the board. Late in the first frame, South Carolina broke the ice when Kozun deflected a pass by defender Vinny Muto past goaltender Corbin Boes at 18:10 to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. Kozun’s ninth tally of the season came with an assist by Askew.
Kozun then extended the Stingrays’ advantage to 2-0 with his second strike of the game 3:14 into the second period. The rookie’s second goal of the game also came with an assist from Askew and was scored on a wrist shot that went underneath Boes’ blocker.
Matt Pohlkamp added to the lead when he converted on a breakaway at 7:59 of the second period to push South Carolina’s lead to 3-0. The Bowling Green State alum used a wrist shot to put the puck past the left pad of Boes and was helped with assists by defenseman Kevin McKernan, who set Pohlkamp free on the breakaway, as well as forward Josh Gratton.
After the third tally for South Carolina, Orlando pulled Boes from the game in favor of backup Clint Windsor.
The Solar Bears finally broke through in the final minutes of the game when Colby McAuley scored unassisted at 16:56 to make it 3-1.
Askew finished things off for the Rays with an empty net goal, his 12th tally of the year at 18:03 from defenseman John MacLeod as well as Kozun.
Boes took the loss for the Solar Bears, making 11 saves on 14 shots in 27:59. Windsor turned aside 13 shots in 31 minutes of relief. Both teams were scoreless on the power play in the contest, with Orlando finishing 0-for-4, while South Carolina ended at 0-for-3. The Solar Bears outshot the Stingrays 39-28 in the game.
The two teams will square off again on Saturday night when South Carolina will Pack The House for their annual Military Appreciation Night at the North Charleston Coliseum at 7:05 p.m. The first 3,500 fans at the game will receive a Stingrays rally towel! Tickets are on sale now!
To bring your group to the game, call the Stingrays Front Office at 843-744-2248! For single game tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.