North Charleston, SC – Mark Naclerio notched his first professional hat trick, but the South Carolina Stingrays scored with 41 seconds left to tie and Andrew Cherniwchan won it in overtime to defeat the Reading Royals, 4-3, Tuesday at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Naclerio scored the hat trick goal with 8:08 to go in the third on the power play, assisted by Matt Willows and Adam Schmidt. The trick is his first since his junior year (2014-15) at Brown vs. Quinnipiac.
Joe Devin scored the tying goal by batting it in at the right post in the final minute. Cherniwchan deflected it in from the right slot to win it at 1:27 of the extra session.
The Royals scored twice on the power play (2-for-3) and never trailed in regulation. John Muse made 25 saves. Jeff Jakaitis denied 28 shots in the win.
The Royals finish up a stretch of five games in six days Wednesday at South Carolina with a 7:05 p.m. puck drop. Saturday at 7:05 p.m., the Royals host the Jacksonville Icemen for Veteran’s Appreciation Day and a jersey rally towel giveaway.
The clubs exchanged goals in a back-and-forth first. Nolan Zajac sprung up the middle and fed for Alex Krushelnyski (2a) at the right circle. The fourth-year pro spiked a pass through the left circle to Naclerio, who sniped one to the short post at 4:27 of the first.
Steven Whitney scored on a snipe from the slot to tie the game with 11.2 seconds to go in the first.
Naclerio broke the ice on the power play with 1:31 to go in the second, assisted by Krushelnyski and Chase Golightly. The Royals set up in front of the net and Krushelnyski fed from the right circle to a foot outside the net. Naclerio shuffled it in at the left post.
Travis Walsh tied the game at 2:00 of the third, 2-2. Again in tie-breaking mode, Naclerio walked in on a 5-on-4 and slammed it home midway through the third to give the Royals the lead back, 3-2. He earned third star of the game.
Information courtesy of Reading Royals