North Charleston, SC –The South Carolina Stingrays (22-6-1-3) defeated the Charlotte Checkers (14-9-3-1) 4-2 Saturday night in front of 4,328 at North Charleston Coliseum. The win gave the Stingrays their 13 straight win, setting a new team record.
The Stingrays lit the lamp first with a power-goal from Keith Johnson at 4:35 beating Checkers goaltender Ryan Munce high glove-side from the bottom of the left-wing circle. Forward Nikita Kashirsky and defenseman Josh Godfrey recorded assists on Johnson’s 12 of the season.
Checkers forward Kenny Roche tied the contest at one with a power-play marker at 13:00 of the second period from Mike Taylor and Aaron Slattengren. Charlotte finished the period 1-for-2 on the man advantage as the two teams skated to the locker rooms knotted up at one.
The Stingrays reclaimed the lead just 2:22 into the third period with a drive from forward Matt Scherer. Rookie Rob Ricci recorded the lone assist on Scherer’s eighth goal of the season. South Carolina went up 3-1 just 30 seconds later as Trent Campbell found the twine on a rebound off of the right leg pad of Munce. Stingrays defenseman Grant Farrell earned the only assist. Charlotte continued to battle and pulled the contest within one at 15:52 with a power-play tally from Tyler Doig beating Stingrays goaltender Todd Ford with a wrist shot under the left arm. Checkers center Michel Leveille and defenseman Steve Ward potted helpers. On the very next shift, Stingrays forward Matt Fornataro buried his 14 goal of the season at 16:26 from Jake Hauswirth and Godfrey to seal the victory for the Stingrays. Ford earned his ECHL-leading 15 victory of the season stopping 33 of 35 Checkers shots. Munce kicked away 26 of 30 Stingrays chances. Charlotte finished the contest 2-for-4 on the power play while the Stingrays ended the night 1-for-5.
The Stingrays close out the five-game mini series with the Checkers Sunday, December 20 at Time Warner Cable Arena at 2:00 p.m. The Stingrays return to North Charleston Coliseum Sunday, December 27 at 4:00 p.m. against the Charlotte Checkers. Join the Stingrays on Sunday for Kid’s Day featuring $5 kid’s tickets and a pregame kid’s carnival. It is also Adopt-a-Dog Sunday with Camp Bow Wow. Be sure to stop by their table on the main concourse to see the Adoptable Dog of the Night. Stick around after the game for Skate with the Rays with your favorite Stingrays players. Ticket packages and individual tickets are on sale now! Call the Stingrays front office at (843) 744-2248 for more information. For all the latest Stingrays news, visit www.stingrayshockey.com