Stingrays fight off Solar Bears for 2-1 victory

ORLANDO, Fla. — The South Carolina Stingrays (18-16-1-6) drove past the Orlando Solar Bears (19-15-3-0), 2-1, Tuesday night at the Amway Center to snap a seven-game winless skid. Defenseman Andrew Blazek scored the game-winning goal in the third period.

Stingrays forward Wayne Simpson broke the scoreless tie 7:45 into the second frame, catching a pass from forward Andrew Rowe and powering a shot over the blocker of Solar Bears goaltender Garrett Sparks (35 saves on 37 shots) from the left-wing circle. Forward Tim Spencer earned the second assist.

Blazek put the Stingrays up 2-0 early in the third period, forcing a turnover and slipping a backhanded shot past the glove of Sparks unassisted at 2:57. The Solar Bears pulled the contest within one off a strike from defenseman Blake Kessel at 15:17, but the Stingrays and goaltender Jeff Jakaitis (18 saves on 19 shots) locked up in the final moments to preserve the victory.

The Stingrays finished the contest 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Solar Bears went 0-for-2.

The Stingrays continue a four-game road trip at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against the Florida Everblades at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla., and return to the Amway Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday to battle the Solar Bears.