Goals from three different forwards and a standout relief effort from goaltender Alex Dubeau gave the South Carolina Stingrays (4-1-2-0) a 3-2 win over the Jacksonville Icemen on Saturday night at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Dubeau, who came into the game after an injury to starting netminder Hunter Shepard midway through the opening period, turned aside 18 shots to earn the first victory of his career with South Carolina. Forward Cole Ully led the way for the Rays with a goal and an assist, while linemate Max Novak picked up two helpers in the contest.
After Dubeau replaced Shepard at 12:38 of the first, SC took a 1-0 lead when forward Brett Supinski unleashed a turnaround shot attempt from the left circle that snuck by goaltender Kyle Keyser and into the net. The lone assist on the tally came from forward Dan DeSalvo.
Jacksonville evened the score at 1-1 with a power play tally by Andrew Peski at 11:31 of the second.
But the Stingrays stole the momentum right back with a flurry of action in the offensive zone that resulted in Ully’s third tally of the season. The Calgary, Alberta native’s shot from the high slot got by Keyser to put SC back in front 2-1 at 13:12, less than two minutes after they surrendered the tally. Assists on the goal were credited to Novak and defender Doyle Somerby.
In the final seconds of the period, forward Caleb Herbert found a loose puck at the side of the Jacksonville goal and redirected it into the net to increase South Carolina’s advantage to 3-1. Herbert’s third goal of the year, which came with 9.8 seconds left on the clock, was assisted by Ully and Novak.
Through the Rays’ first seven games this season, Ully leads the team with seven points (three goals, four assists).
The Icemen got one closer in the third period on a power play goal by Jason Binkley at 12:23, but the SC defense turned aside all Jacksonville chances in the final minutes of action. In total during the third period, the Stingrays outshot the Icemen 12-9.
Dubeau also made a highlight-reel save on Jacksonville forward Ara Nazarian late in the contest to keep the Rays ahead, stretching out with his glove to deny the chance.
SC outshot the Icemen 31-26 on the night. Both of Jacksonville’s goals came via the power play, finishing 2-for-4 on the man-advantage while the Stingrays were 0-for-4. Keyser stopped 28 shots in a losing effort in net.
The Stingrays return to the North Charleston Coliseum to open a two-game set with the Wheeling Nailers on Friday at 7:05 p.m. The two teams will also play in North Charleston on Saturday at 6:05.