READING, Pa. – The South Carolina Stingrays (25-19-2-1) prevailed 5-4 in a back-and-forth contest with the Reading Royals (28-15-1-2) in the teams’ only meeting of the season on Thursday night at Santander Arena.
SC forward Domenic Monardo, a former member of the Royals, led the way for the Rays with a goal and two assists while forward Tim McGauley had his first two-goal game of his professional career and defenseman Wade Epp picked up two assists.
South Carolina got ahead in the first period when Monardo cashed in with his fifth goal of the year to make it 1-0 with assists by defensemen Colton Saucerman and Joey Leach. The tally came on a deflection in front as the Monardo got a piece of an initial shot by Saucerman.
Reading evened the contest at 1-1 before the end of the first frame on a breakaway goal by forward Justin Crandall.
McGauley’s first tally of the game put the Rays back in front 2-1 at 5:28 of the second. Once again coming on a deflection off a shot by Epp. Defenseman Alex Brooks also earned his ninth assist of the season on the play.
The Royals turned the game around midway through the second period and took a 3-2 lead with two goals scored just 10 seconds apart from each other. After the Rays had just finished killing off a penalty, Matt Wilkins scored at 13:24 and Tyrell Goulbourne found the back of the net at 13:34 to give Reading their first and only lead of the night.
In the last minute of the period, McGauley tied the game at 3-3 on a rebound in front off a pass by Monardo. The initial shot was taken by defenseman Max Nicastro and McGauley’s fourth tally of the season came with just 25 seconds left on the clock.
South Carolina re-took the lead 4-3 at 3:01 of the third on Andrew Cherniwchan’s fourth goal of the year. Monardo rushed into the Reading zone down the right wing and fired a wrist shot that hit off of both posts, but stayed out of the net. Cherniwchan was positioned perfectly and put the rebound into the back of the net to regain the lead for the Stingrays.
But once again Reading tied the game at 4-4 on a goal by Mike Pereira at 9:03 to get right back into the game.
Just over a minute later, John Parker gave South Carolina the lead for good with his ninth goal of the season at 10:21. The strike turned out to be the game-winner for the Stingrays and came with assists by Patrick Gaul as well as Epp.
Goaltender Adam Carlson made 26 saves to earn the win for South Carolina, while Ouellette stopped 25 shots in a losing effort for Reading.
Neither team converted on the power play in the game as the Royals finished 0-for-4 and South Carolina went 0-for-2.
The Stingrays finish their six-game road trip on Friday night with a matchup against the Norfolk Admirals at 7:30 p.m. South Carolina returns home to face Orlando on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the North Charleston Coliseum at 3:05 p.m.
Single-game tickets for all Stingrays games during the 2016-17 season are on sale now at the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office and ticketmaster.com.