Simpson provides OT heroics for Stingrays’ 11th consecutive win

Forward Wayne Simpson buried the game winning goal 1:16 into overtime to send the South Carolina Stingrays’ (29-18-1-6) season-high winning streak to 11 games with a 2-1 win over the Orlando Solar Bears (25-20-4-1) on Thursday night at the Amway Center.

Stingrays forward Tim Spencer broke the scoreless tie with 2:44 remaining in the second period. Spencer caught a pass from Simpson along the right-wing boards, curled around the bottom of the faceoff circle and slipped a shot between the legs of Solar Bears goaltender Garret Sparks (33 saves on 35 shots). Defenseman Lee Moffie added the second assist.

The Solar Bears tied the contest early in the third period and eventually forced the extra session when forward Brock Montgomery knocked a rebound past the right pad of Stingrays netminder Jeff Jakaitis (35 saves on 36 shots) at 4:56. In overtime, Simpson cut to the middle of the ice and floated a backhanded shot past the glove of Sparks for the game-winning tally. Moffie and Spencer picked up assists.

The Stingrays finished the contest 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Solar Bears went 0-for-3.

The Stingrays continue a three-game in three-day Florida road trip on Friday and Saturday against the Florida Everblades at Germain Arena in Estero.