NORTH CHARLESTON, SC. – The South Carolina Stingrays (10-6-2-0) defeated the Trois-Rivières Lions (12-7-0-0) 3-2 in their annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Sunday afternoon. Mitchell Gibson stopped 32 of 34 shots in the victory.
Austin Magera opened the scoring 8:32 into the game. Tyson Empey brought the puck up the left side and fired a shot on goal that was kicked out by Trois-Rivières goaltender Joe Vrbetic. Magera pounced on the rebound and fired it into the open net, sending stuffed animals flying to the ice. The Stingrays led 1-0 after 20 minutes, and Gibson made ten first-period saves.
Magera doubled the Stingrays lead just 53 seconds into the second period. Connor Moore fed the puck down to Kevin O’Neil at the left circle, who fed the puck across the ice to Magera. Magera beat Vrbetic with a one-timer for his second goal of the game.
Kameron Kielly made it 3-0 with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. The goal was Kielly’s first as a Stingray and South Carolina’s seventh power-play goal in their last four games.
The Lions came out flying to start the third period and cashed in with a power play goal from their captain, Cedric Montminy, to make it 3-1. Just 90 seconds later, Justin Ducharme brought the Lions within one with a wrist shot on a partial break.
The Stingrays re-discovered their groove following Trois-Rivières’ second tally. Gibson shut the door with 13 third-period stops to preserve the victory.
The Stingrays are back in action on Wednesday night against the Florida Everblades. Puck drop is set for 7:30 at the Hertz Arena.