The South Carolina Stingrays extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games — but just barely.
Evansville IceMen at South Carolina Stingrays
WHEN: Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: North Charleston Coliseum
The Stingrays scored two goals in the third period, but Evansville’s Nathan Moon scored 32 seconds into overtime to lift the IceMen past South Carolina, 3-2, before a crowd of 3,064 Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The Stingrays still have not been beaten in regulation and are 8-0-2 (18 points). The IceMen improved to 6-1-0 (12 points).
Trailing 2-0 heading into the second intermission, the Stingrays were able to rally for two goals despite being down two players.
Stingrays forward Marc Hagel cut the lead in half as he scored on the power play after a beautiful pass from Chad Painchaud less than 5 minutes into the final period.
Then Andrew Cherniwchan tied the game with a great individual effort, skating past two Evansville defenders near the right faceoff circle and beating IceMen goalie Mike Clemente with a wrist shot with 5:32 left in regulation.
“Chad made a great play and pass off the half-wall and Andrew created something out of nothing,” Stingrays head coach Spencer Carbery said. “We found a way to get a point out of that game after we faced some real adversity in the second period. We lost a couple of guys and found a way to score twice in the third period and send it into overtime. That’s what is impressive about this group. They’ve got tremendous resiliency. We found a way.”
Moon ended the game less than a minute into overtime when he knocked in a rebound from Jeremy Langlois.
The game, however, proved costly as the Stingrays were forced to play with just eight forwards from the middle of the second period until overtime. Forwards Igor Gongalsky (knee) and Jack Downing (shoulder) were injured just minutes apart in the second period. Both are listed as day-to-day by the Stingrays medical staff.
South Carolina came into Friday night’s game already missing team captain Kevin Quick, who broke his leg Thursday night in the Stingrays’ 4-2 win over Greenville. Quick is expected to miss at least 12 weeks and his return isn’t expected until sometime in February.
A sluggish first period gave the IceMen early life as Matt Lowry scored to give Evansville a 1-0 lead.
“We were badly outplayed in the first period,” Carbery said. “We had only a handful of guys that were mentally and physically ready to go in the first period. We gave up nine scoring chances and we were lucky only to be down a goal.”
Moon scored his first goal of the game midway through the second period to give the IceMen a 2-0 advantage.
Evansville 1 1 0 1 – 3
Stingrays 0 0 2 0 – 2
First Period: 1. E, Lowry 4 (Schepke, Beaulieu), 11:19. Penalties: Kennedy, E (hooking), 5:16; Spinell, SC (holding), 14:28.
Second Period: 2. E, Moon 3 (Kennedy), 6:45. Penalties: Vaughan, SC (tripping), 7:01; Gaul, SC (tripping), 9:53; Kennedy, E (tripping), 10:54; Lavin, E (interference), 17:37.
Third Period: 3. SC, Hagel 6 (Painchaud, Langkow), 5:07 (PP). 4. SC, Cherniwchan 1 (Spinell, Owens), 14:28. Penalties: Clarke, E (boarding), 2:20; Kennedy, E (closing hand on puck), 4:19.
Overtime: 5. E, Moon 4 (Langlois), 0:32. Penalties: No Penalties.
Shots on Goal: Stingrays 8-11-11-30; Evansville: 11-7-5-24. Penalties: Stingrays 3-6; Evansville 5-10. Power Play: Stingrays 1 for 5; Evansville 0 for 3. Goalies: Stingrays –.Jeff Jakaitis (7-0-2) 25 shots, 22 saves. Evansville – Mike Clemente (6-0-1) 30 shots, 28 saves. Att: 3,064.