The South Carolina Stingrays (1-0-0-0) scored the first four goals of the game to get ahead and held off a late rally by the Orlando Solar Bears (0-1-0-0) to earn their first victory of the 2019-20 season by a score of 4-2 on Saturday night at the Amway Center.
Nine Stingrays skaters had points in the victory, including two assists each for Andrew Cherniwchan, Dan DeSalvo and Cole Ully. Goaltender Parker Milner was excellent in the game for South Carolina, stopping 20 shots in the victory.
The win is also the first for Steve Bergin, who was named the team’s head coach April.
Forward Mark Cooper scored the first goal of the new season for South Carolina by deflecting a pass by Orlando goaltender Spencer Martin off the rush to make it 1-0 at 4:39. The scoring feed came from DeSalvo, while Cherniwchan earned the second assist on the play.
Next, Casey Bailey added to the lead at 10:28, scoring a day after signing with South Carolina on a loose puck in front of the Orlando cage. The Penn State alum was able to backhand a rebound off a shot by Ully into the net to make it 2-0 Stingrays. Defender Ed Wittchow picked up the second helper on the goal.
Just after a penalty expired to Orlando’s Jake Marchment midway through the second, defenseman Tom Parisi extended South Carolina’s lead to 3-0 when he beat Martin with a shot from the top of the left circle. Jaynen Rissling gained possession of the puck deep in the offensive zone to start the scoring chance, then Cherniwchan moved behind the net and set up Parisi for the shot. With Bailey providing a screen in front of the net, Parisi put the puck just inside the right post for the strike at 11:09.
In the third, forward Matthew Weis netted the Rays’ first man-advantage goal of the year at 8:54 to make it 4-0 off a feed by Ully. DeSalvo had the second assist on the scoring play, which was the first SC goal reviewed under the ECHL’s new rules.
The Stingrays took the first seven shots on goal in the third period, but Orlando made a run to try and get back in the game late when Ivan Kosorenkov scored two straight goals at 12:20 and 16:19 to cut the advantage to 4-2. With Martin at the bench for an extra attacker the Solar Bears had chances late but were unable to get any closer.
Both teams netted a tally on the power play in the contest, with South Carolina finishing 1-for-5 and Orlando ending at 1-for-2. The Stingrays had the edge in shots on net, 35-22. Martin took the loss for the Solar Bears while making 31 saves.
South Carolina is back in action on Friday to face the Gladiators in Atlanta at 7:35 p.m. The Stingrays will open their home schedule in North Charleston vs. Orlando the following night on Saturday, October 19 at 6:05.