NORTH CHARLESTON, SC. – The South Carolina Stingrays (11-6-2-0) defeated the Florida Everblades (8-7-3-0) in a thrilling 4-3 comeback victory. The Stingrays fell behind 3-1 but scored three unanswered goals in the third period to win. Mitchell Gibson stopped 24 of 27 shots in his third consecutive victory. The Stingrays have now won five games in a row.
Tommy Apap opened the scoring for Florida 15:29 into the first period with his first goal of the season. He collected a pass on the left wing and picked the short side shelf to make it 1-0 Everblades.
Austin Magera tied the game 6:02 into the second period when a slapshot from Jon McDonald hit the end boards and bounced right to Magera, who deposited the puck into the empty net for his 10th goal of the season.
The Everblades pulled ahead 3-1 with goals from Riese Zmolek and Oliver Chau. Zmolek tallied his first goal of the season when he knocked in a loose puck in front of the Stingrays net to make it 2-1. Chau doubled the Florida lead when he picked off a stretch pass attempt by Michael Kim, moved in towards the goal, and fired a shot over Gibson's glove.
The comeback started in the third period. Nick Leivermann cut the Stingrays' deficit to one with his first professional goal. The goal came on the power play when Leivermann one-timed a feed from Patrick Harper through traffic that Florida goaltender Evan Cormier never saw.
Tyson Empey tied the game at 3 with 5:19 remaining in the third. Empey corralled a loose puck in the slot and quickly wristed it past Cormier to level the score.
With 57 seconds remaining in the game, Bryce Montgomery sealed it with his second game-winning goal of the season. Montgomery collected a puck in the high slot, walked across, and beat Cormier with a clean wrist shot to give the Stingrays the lead for good.
The Stingrays return to action on Friday night when they take on the Everblades again at Hertz Arena. The puck drop is set for 7:30 pm.