Despite coming from behind to tie the game in the third period, the South Carolina Stingrays (6-1-3-0) suffered a 5-4 overtime loss to the Greenville Swamp Rabbts (4-3-3-1) on Friday night after a goal by Matt Bradley in the extra session at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Stingrays forwards Cam Askew and Dylan Steman each had a goal and an assist in the contest, while Mark Cooper scored his first tally of the season and Darien Craighead found the back of the net for the second straight game.
The Swamp Rabbits had a hot start in the first, scoring twice to take a 2-0 advantage. Bryce Reddick had the initial strike at 5:08 and Max Zimmer added a tally at 15:20.
In the final minute of the frame, Cooper found the back of the net with a shot from just inside the Greenville zone that bounced off a Swamp Rabbit and past the goal line. Defender Connor Moore picked up the primary assist on the tally, securing his first career point in his first pro game. Steman was credited with the second assist on the goal that came at 19:15 of the first.
Greenville pushed the lead back to 3-1 on a power play goal by Luc Brown at 1:27 of the second.
But Askew responded quickly for SC to make it 3-2, netting his first goal of the year unassisted at 2:52 on a toe-drag move that resulted in a shot from the dot in the middle of the right circle.
Greg Meireles put the Swamp Rabbits back up by two goals, 4-2, with a power play strike at 8:44 of the middle frame.
For the second consecutive period the Rays scored in the final minute before intermission. This time it was Steman that knocked home a feed from captain Andrew Cherniwchan, who was behind the net with the rebound of an initial shot by forward Mason Morelli. The power play tally made it a 4-3 game with just eight seconds remaining in the period.
Craighead evened things up at 4-4 with his strike at 7:24 of the third, scoring on a rebound at the side of the net with assists from Askew and defender Tariq Hammond.
The game remained tied until 3:49 of the extra session when Greenville goaltender Ryan Bednard stopped a point-blank shot by Zach Malatesta and the rebound bounced to Bradley, who was free to skate in on a breakaway. SC netminder Alex Dubueau charged at Bradley, but was unsuccessful in altering his attempt and the Swamp Rabbit forward was able to put the puck in the net to win the game for the visitors.
Bednard earned the win with 30 saves for Greenville, while Dubeau suffered the loss despite 24 stops.
The Swamp Rabbits finished 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Stingrays were 1-for-5. South Carolina had the edge in shots on goal during the contest, 34-29.
The two teams will face-off once again at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday for Youth Sports Night at 6:05 p.m.—To purchase single game tickets for all Stingrays home games, click here!
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