NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The South Carolina Stingrays (23-8-3-1) comeback fell short against the Jacksonville Icemen (23-13-1-0) by a final score of 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Jacksonville broke through first on Victor Hadfield’s sixth goal of the season 4:10 into the opening stanza. Hadfield sent a shot from the right circle past Clay Stevenson for the early 1-0 lead.
Jonny Evans answered the Jacksonville goal with his third tally in the last three games at the 5:45 mark of the first period. Evans made his way behind the endline and deflected the puck off the skate of Parker Gahagen for the 1-1 tie game.
The Icemen netted four unanswered goals including Easton Brodzinski’s breakaway marker 15 seconds later. Jacob Friend fed Brodzinski on the outlet pass where Brodzinski raced ahead and snapped a shot past the glove of Stevenson.
The Stingrays changed goaltenders during the media timeout at the 6:30 mark of the first period, bringing Tyler Wall into the game in relief. Nearly two minutes later, Ara Nazarian tipped a shot from Brandon Fortunato while on the power play that hopped over the shoulder of Wall for the 3-1 lead.
Fortunato added a goal of his own 13:28 into the first period on his third goal of the season. Fortunato picked up a rebound and fired it into the back of the net through traffic for the 4-1 advantage.
Luke Lynch netted the final goal of the period with 4:39 remaining in the opening frame on his ninth marker of the year. Lynch corralled a pass from Brendan Harris and flung it over the blocker of Wall for the 5-1 lead to close the first 20 minutes of action.
The Stingrays netted the only goal of the second period as Bear Hughes rebounded a shot from Martin Haš past Gahagen for the 5-2 contest with under two minutes remaining.
South Carolina’s power play netted two more goals in the third period as Ryan Scarfo pulled South Carolina back within two goals on his fifth tally of the season. While on the power play, Scarfo deflected a shot from Michael Kim to make it a 5-3 contest 3:18 into the final period.
Scarfo cut the deficit to one goal on his second power play marker of the afternoon. With 8:58 remaining in regulation, Scarfo slapped a rebound past Gahagen from the right circle for the 5-4 final.
The Stingrays return to action this Wednesday, January 25th as they head to Estero, FL to take on the Florida Everblades for the first of three contests at Hertz Arena.
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