SAVANNAH, GA – The South Carolina Stingrays defeated the Savannah Ghost Pirates 5-3 on Friday night. Tyson Empey scored twice, and Garin Bjorklund stopped 33 of 37 shots in the victory.
The Ghost Pirates struck first on their first shot of the game on a wrist shot by Alex Swetlikoff from the right circle.
Austin Magera tied the game less than a minute later when he knocked in a centering feed from Jonny Evans. The goal was Magera’s team-leading 19th of the season.
The Ghost Pirates retook the lead when Simon Pinard buried a one-timer from the right circle. They extended their lead to 3-1 when Jordan Kaplan tallied his eighth goal of the season on a nice move off the rush.
The Stingrays finished the first period strong with a late goal by Empey, who knocked in a loose puck to pull the Stingrays within one.
Empey tallied the equalizer 11:32 into the second period. He then set up Ryan Leibold for the go-ahead goal when he sent the puck to the slot, allowing Leibold to knock in his eighth goal of the season.
15:47 into the middle frame, Jackson Leppard extended the South Carolina lead to 5-3 when he one-timed a feed from Evans for his tenth goal of the season.
12:40 into the third period, Leppard returned the favor by setting up Evans to make it 6-3.
Logan Drevitch scored with less than four minutes left to make it 6-4, but Jack Adams tallied an empty net goal to make it a 7-4 final.
The Stingrays face the Ghost Pirates again this Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. Puck drop is set for 6:05 pm.