Vigier’s late goal lifts Rays

Stephan Vigier scored a power- play goal with 1:27 remaining to lead the South Carolina Stingrays to a 2-1 victory over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum.

In a game that was scoreless until the third period, the Stingrays (30-17-4-2) got goals from Vigier and Caleb Herbert and 29 saves from Vitek Vanecek to win their third straight game in as many days over the Swamp Rabbits (24-21-7-0).

Both goaltenders turned in spectacular performances on Sunday. Greenville’s Mackenzie Skapski and Vanecek both came up strong in the first two periods. Skapski finished with 35 saves, while Vanecek was particularity strong early and stopped 10 of 11 shots in the third period.

South Carolina finally broke the scoreless tie early in the game’s final frame. Herbert scored his fourth goal of the season at 1:53. Kelly Zajac took a shot from the blue line that Skapski bobbled with his catching glove. The rebound popped to the right side of the crease and Herbert deposited the loose puck past Skapski’s left pad to make it 1-0. Zajac and Austin Fyten assisted.

Greenville tied the game at 12:16 on a goal by Jordan Knackstedt on a scramble in front of Vanecek. Greenville’s Kevin Curran walked the puck down the right wing and backhanded a shot toward the goal. It deflected off Vanecek and rolled loose in front. Knackstedt got two whacks at the puck and scored his 12th goal of the season to tie the game at 1.

The game went down to the wire, and Vigier played the hero.

Greenville was assessed a slashing penalty at 18:18, and the Stingrays’ power play took advantage. Brandon Magee’s slapshot from the left point was denied by the pad of Skapski, but Vigier scored on the rebound to give the Stingrays a 2-1 lead. The goal was Vigier’s 16th of the season and extended his point streak to five games.

South Carolina was 1 for 3 on the power play, while Greenville went 0 for 3.

The Stingrays hit the road this week for three games at Eastern Conference-leading Florida. The puck drops for the first game at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday from the Germain Arena.

The Stingrays’ next home game is the 10th annual Pink in the Rink presented by Trident Health on March 5 at 7:05 p.m. The Stingrays will wear special pink jerseys and skate on pink ice on a night that benefits Share Our Suzy. Pink Packs, including a ticket to the game, admission to a Hockey 101 session, a Pink in the Rink T-shirt, a pink puck and a mini-stick for $45. $10 of each Pink Pack sale goes back to Share Our Suzy.