NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The South Carolina Stingrays fired 41 shots on goal, but they came up short and dropped a 4-2 decision on the road against the South Division-leading Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Josh Wilkins tallied a goal and an assist, and Garin Bjorklund stopped 13 of 16 shots.
Josh McKechney opened the scoring for Greenville on their second power play of the game. He parked himself in the slot and redirected a shot past Bjorklund for his ninth goal of the season. The Swamp Rabbits took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission despite being outshot 12-4.
Greenville doubled their lead 2:49 into the middle frame when Jake Smith beat Bjorklund with a one-timer from the right wing side.
Less than three minutes later, the Stingrays cut Greenville’s lead in half when Wilkins tallied his team-leading 14th goal of the season. Wilkins collected a cross-ice feed from Kevin O’Neil and fired a shot into the top right corner. The goal came on the power play.
Greenville restored their two-goal advantage with 1:58 remaining in the second period. Brannon McManus accepted a feed in the slot and wired a shot bar down to give the Swamp Rabbits a 3-1 lead.
The Stingrays cut the deficit to one when Connor Moore netted his fourth goal of the season and his second goal in three games. Wilkins sent a backhand into the slot, and Moore swatted the puck into the top corner to put the Stingrays within striking distance of tying the game.
The Swamp Rabbits held on thanks to some big saves by Ryan Bednard, and with 24 seconds to go, McKechney iced the game with an empty goal.
The Stingrays are back in action tomorrow night against the Atlanta Gladiators. Puck drop is set for 6:05 pm at the North Charleston Coliseum.