Zajac's OT Strike Earns Rays 2-1 Win over Elmira
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Kelly Zajac's first goal of the season gave the South Carolina Stingrays (2-4-1-0) a victory over the Elmira Jackals (2-4-1-0) in overtime on Thursday night at the North Charleston Coliseum by a final score of 2-1.
The victory was South Carolina's first home win of the year and their second overtime triumph of the season.
Stingrays' goaltender Parker Milner made 15 saves to earn his first win of the year, while forward Steven McParland scored his second goal for South Carolina in as many games in the final seconds of the first period.
Elmira netminder John Muse kept the Jackals in the game, making 35 saves, but fell for the first time this season in his third appearance.
The Jackals took the lead at 3:37 of the opening frame when Colin Murray scored his first goal of the season to make it 1-0. But that was the only puck to get past Milner Thursday night, who was going up against Muse, his former teammate at Boston College.
South Carolina tied the game when McParland wristed a puck past Muse from the bottom of the right circle with less than a second left in the first period. McParland's second tally of the season was assisted by defenseman Steve Weinstein, which was his first point of the year. Coming at 19:59 of the frame, the strike turned the game for the Stingrays, giving the squad momentum moving forward.
Though neither team found the back of the net in the second or third period, the Rays outshot Elmira a combined 22-8 through the two periods.
It took overtime to find a winner and this contest was the third time South Carolina has played in the extra session in their first seven outings.
After almost losing the puck himself, Zajac stripped the puck away from an Elmira skater and moved in alone on Muse before putting the puck up high, glove side and into the top of the net. The unassisted goal was scored at 3:04 of the overtime period.
Both teams were unable to convert on the power play in the game, with the Stingrays finishing 0-for-3 and Elmira going 0-for-2.
The two teams will hold a rematch Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum. The contest is scheduled to get underway at 3:05 p.m.
2016-17 Season Ticket Packages are on sale now featuring discounted pricing and great benefits! The club's new 6 Game Plan features tickets to all the biggest games plus added benefits! For more information, fans may call the Stingrays' offices at 843-744-2248 or visit StingraysHockey.com .
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