NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The South Carolina Stingrays earned a dominant 7-1 win over the Wichita Thunder on Friday night. Mitchell Gibson stopped 27 of 28 shots in the victory.
Ryan Leibold struck first for the Stingrays 6:48 into the first period. An errant shot attempt from Bryce Montgomery bounced right to Leibold, who buried his fifth goal of the season. Kevin O'Neil also recorded an assist on the goal.
The score remained 1-0 until 4:34 into the 2nd when Colin Swoyer potted his first goal as a Stingray on a two-on-one with Jonny Evans. Jackson Leppard and Austin Magera recorded assists on the tally.
The Thunder answered less than a minute later when Jake Wahlin found himself all alone in front of the net and roofed a backhand to put Wichita within one.
Eight minutes later, Jack Adams restored the Stingrays' two-goal lead. Adams scooped up the puck behind Wichita goaltender Beck Warm and snuck one past him on the wrap-around.
Just 1:37 later, the Rays found themselves on a power play following a Michal Stinil penalty, and Lukosevicius scored just seconds into the man advantage. Adams and Magera both recorded assists on the goal.
The game was heading towards a 4-1 final, but Magera, Lukosevicius, and Leppard added tallies in the final three minutes to seal a 7-1 victory for South Carolina.
The Stingrays and Thunder will square off again tomorrow at 6:05 pm at the North Charleston Coliseum.