With the game tied 2-2 going into the third, Florida Everblades (37-13-5-0) forward Joe Cox scored twice and defenseman Logan Roe added a goal to give the visitors a 5-3 defeat of the South Carolina Stingrays (25-24-5-0) in front of 8,379 fans during Star Wars Night on Saturday at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Jonathan Charbonneau and Jordan Samuels-Thomas scored for the second straight game, while Tim Harrison added his seventh tally of the season for South Carolina in a losing effort.
Charbonneau gave the Stingrays a 1-0 lead when he beat Florida goaltender Jamie Phillips on the team’s first shot on goal at 1:42 of the first period. The rookie let go of a quick wrist shot at the bottom of the right circle that went up high and into the net to provide a quick start. Assists on the play went to forwards Andrew Cherniwchan and Tad Kozun.
Kyle Platzer evened the score at 1-1 for Florida with a deflection in front of the Rays’ net at 3:38 of the first.
Harrison put South Carolina back in front 2-1 in the final minute of the first, scoring at 19:13. Forward Josh Gratton grabbed a loose puck in neutral ice and sped ahead into the offensive zone before leading Harrison with a pass that set him free to the Florida net. The fan-favorite did the rest of the work and watched the puck roll into the net as he collided in the crease with Phillips.
Despite a 14-8 shots-on-goal advantage for SC in the middle period, the only goal of the frame went to Platzer, who collected his second of the game at 18:54 which evened the score, 2-2.
Cox gave the Everblades their first lead of the night just 44 seconds into the third period, scoring unassisted after a turnover in the SC end to make it 3-2.
The Rays quickly got even at 3-3 when Samuels-Thomas ripped one past Phillips at 1:58 for his third goal of the year from forwards Grant Besse and Shane Eiserman.
But Roe responded for Florida at 3:26 and Cox netted his second of the night on a breakaway at 12:45 to push the Everblades’ lead to 5-3.
South Carolina fought back late in the game, attempting to cut into the deficit, but fell short to their opponents for the ninth consecutive contest.
The Rays had the edge in shots on goal, 33-30, with goaltender Parker Milner turning aside 25 Florida chances. Phillips picked up the win for the Everblades with 30 saves. Neither team was able to score on the man-advantage, with both clubs finishing 0-for-5 on the power play.
South Carolina returns to the ice on Tuesday morning for Education Day at the North Charleston Coliseum against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 10:30 a.m. 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.