NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Ben Freeman’s overtime goal lifted the Swamp Rabbits to 7-6 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
In the early moments of the first, Diego Cuglietta scored a power play goal for the Swamp Rabbits before it was answered quickly by Justin Florek for South Carolina to tie the game at 1-1. A pair of power play goals for the Stingrays from Alex Brink and Andrew Cherniwchan gave the Stingrays a 3-1 lead. To end the first, the Swamp Rabbits scored back-to-back goals from Justin Nachbaur, his first of his professional career, and Matt Bradley to tie the game.
In the second, the Stingrays scored just 37 seconds into the frame with a Lawton Cortnall tally before it was answered by Cuglietta’s second of the game less than a minute later. Shortly after, Cherniwchan, again found the back of the net on the Stingrays power play to take a 5-4 lead. The Swamp Rabbits tied the game with Nachbaur’s second of the night at 7:51.
Early in the third, Nikita Pavlychev scored an in-tight goal to give Greenville the 6-3 lead at the 5:29 mark. Late in the frame, South Carolina forced overtime with Cherniwchan’s third of the night to tie the game at 6-6.
With 3:18 gone by in the overtime period, the Swamp Rabbits streaked up the ice and fed Ben Freeman the puck for a point blank shot that became a rebound that he would collect and punch into the back of the net for the 7-6 win and to improve his team to 7-7-0-0.
Greenville will remain in North Charleston on Saturday night for a 6:05 p.m. rematch with the Stingrays before returning to Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Sunday afternoon to complete the three-in-three with their in-state rival.
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