ORLANDO, Fla. — Defenseman Michal Cajkovsky scored the game-winning goal 25 seconds into overtime to launch the South Carolina Stingrays (44-19-1-6) over the Orlando Solar Bears (35-23-6-4), 3-2, Friday night at the Amway Center .
The win set a new single-season career high for head coach Spencer Carbery, and the Stingrays finished the regular-season series against the Solar Bears with a 7-2-1-1 record.
The Solar Bears broke open the scoring on the power play 8:16 into the first period when defenseman Eric Baier fired a shot from the left-wing point through traffic and between the legs of Stingrays netminder Keegan Asmundson (21 saves on 23 shots). The Stingrays responded moments later as forward Rob Bellamy battled for a loose puck in the right-wing corner and found forward Patrick Gaul and the bottom of the faceoff circle to snap a shot under the blocker of Solar Bears goalie Maxime Clermont (33 saves on 36 shots) at 11:44. Forward Tim Spencer added the second assist.
Forward Derek DeBlois gave the Stingrays the lead 41 seconds into the middle stanza, redirecting a shot from defenseman Jason Binkley past the glove of Clermont from the right point. Forward Andrew Rowe picked up the second assist. Orlando’s Peter Sivak made it 2-2 at 10:25, knocking a rebound past Asmundson.
The Stingrays rifled 17 shots in the third period, but for the second straight contest, the two sides would head to overtime. Shortly after the faceoff, Cajkovsky caught a pass from forward Caleb Herbert and blasted in the game-winning tally 25 seconds into the extra session. The Stingrays finished the contest 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Solar Bears went 1-for-4.
The Stingrays wrap up a season-long seven game road trip at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Florida Everblades at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.