Stingrays depart for road on winning note

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays (4-5-0-1) bounced back with a win Saturday night over Orlando after losing Friday night at home to Elmira. They were led on Saturday by Goaltender Shawn Hunwick who recorded a 3-0 shutout over the Solar Bears (5-3-1-1) at the North Charles Coliseum. The ‘Rays had dropped a game to visiting Elmira on Friday night on Coliseum ice with a final score of 4-2. They needed the win badly with a long road trip coming up. As of Friday the Jackals had lost just one game this young season reeling off a record of 6-1-0-0.
 
Hunwick got all the offense he needed near the end of the first period as forward Hunter Bishop slammed a rebound past Solar Bears goaltender John Curry at the 16:12 mark. The game winner drew helpers from forwards Kevin Petrovello and Tyler Johnson.
 
The ‘Ray’s added a goal by Dylan Clarke in period two to grab a 2-0 lead. Clarke recorded his first goal of the season on a nifty laser past Curry high from about ten feet out from the right side circle at 14:52. Bishop picked up his second point on the night and third of the weekend with the primary assist as Tommy Cross started the scoring play from the blue line.
 
Next up forward Alden Hirschfeld combined with Shawn Weller and Cross to claim the win with an empty netter. Neither team could score on the power play as the Solar Bears failed in four attempts while South Carolina missed on five opportunities. Curry faced 25 shots in the loss while Hunwick turned aside 31 shots in picking up the win.
 
The Elmira Jackals who are off to a hot start, hammered the Stingrays on Friday night with a 4-2 win. The ‘Rays squandered a two goal margin, after streaking to a 2-0 lead on scores from forwards Mike Hamilton and Matthew Pistilli.
 
The ‘Rays’ Hamilton used a slap shot during a man advantage, to break the scoring ice off a nice set up from Pistilli at 8:45 of the opening twenty minutes. Defenseman Tommy Cross picked up his first of three assists over the weekend on the opening strike.
 
South Carolina extended its lead at 15:01, as Pistilli scored unassisted beating eventual winning goal tender Marc Cheverie of the Jackals. Unfortunately for the home crowd Cheverie went on to shut out the ‘Rays after the opening period fireworks. He finished sweeping aside 22 of the 24 shots he faced.
 
The momentum shift came after a fight between Elmira’s Kevin Harvey and the ‘Rays’ Tyler Randal. This delay coupled with a sudden power outage throughout the arena seemed to give the Jackals a chance to regroup.
 
Regroup they did scoring four straight times to dampen the festivities for the locals. Brad Peltz stuck first at 18:19 to make it 2-1 and Dustin Gazley scored just over half way into period two to tie the match. The comeback became complete as Kyle Bushee scored the game winner on a power play at 15:53 of the middle period.
 
An empty net goal by Adam Rowe put the game on ice with 41 seconds left in the third period. Adam Morrison took the loss in net for South Carolina despite stopping 36 shots of the 39 attempts he faced and playing well overall.
 
The Stingrays will play their third game over the weekend Sunday afternoon in Gwinnett against the Gladiators. The Sunday match is the start of a six game road trip for South Carolina. They will not return home until November 16, 2012 after playing twice in Kalamazoo and moving on to play single games against Evansville, Toledo and Cincinnati.
 
Contact the author at Phil.Brand@prohockeynews.com
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