The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have announced multiple transactions Monday at the start of the league’s all-star break. South Carolina has activated goaltender Parker Milner from injured reserve, completed a trade with the Indy Fuel to acquire future considerations in exchange for goaltender Gordon Defiel and released defenseman Drew Baker.“Our team can’t thank Gordon and Drew enough,” said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, Spiros Anastas. “They both came in at critical times and helped us maintain a solid position in the standings.”
Milner returns to the active roster after being sidelined with an injury since Dec. 8 when he was in net to defeat the Atlanta Gladiators in overtime. The goaltender has a record of 8-5-0 in 13 appearances with South Carolina during 2018-19 along with a goals-against average of 3.15 and a save percentage at 0.904. Playing in his third season with the Stingrays while on an AHL contract with Hershey, Milner also made three starts with the Bears earlier this season, posting a 2-1-0 record with a 2.28 goals-against average and a 0.931 save percentage.
The Pittsburgh native was named the Warrior Hockey/ECHL Goaltender of the Year for his work in 2017-18, posting a 28-7-3 record with a league-best 1.86 goals-against average. Milner also finished with the third best save percentage in the league at .929 and recorded three shutouts, helping him earn All-ECHL First Team honors.
Defiel made a name for himself in the ECHL with the Rays since signing with the club on Nov. 5. In 14 appearances, the netminder posted a goals-against average of 2.77 and a save percentage of 0.913 while earning a record of 6-6-0. The 25-year-old from Stillwater, Minn. started his year with the Macon Mayhem in the SPHL and had excellent numbers, going 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals against average and a 0.952 save percentage.
“It’s always tough to make these decisions, but with Milner returning we had to take the opportunity to get an asset in return,” Anastas said. “Gordy is a first class person and a great competitor. He came in for what was supposed to be a few days and it turned into almost three months. He got us some huge wins and amazed us with some highlight-reel saves in a time where we were in need. He’s proven he’s an ECHL goaltender and we wish him the best with his new team in Indy.”
Baker signed with South Carolina on Jan. 3 and played in nine games with the Stingrays, returning to the team for the second time in his career. The defender’s only points during his stint in SC were a pair of third period assists on goals by Josh Gratton in the team’s 5-3 win over Orlando on Sunday afternoon.
“We are grateful to Drew for coming out of retirement to help us through some injuries and call-ups. He’s a proud Stingray and a great pro. He loves the game and it showed in how much he energized our room and young group of defensemen. We wish him the best as he returns home to his family and business in Georgia.”The Stingrays are off for the ECHL’s all-star break until Sunday afternoon when they travel to Greenville to take on the Swamp Rabbits at 3 p.m.
South Carolina returns to the North Charleston Coliseum on Wednesday, January 30 to face the Norfolk Admirals at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are on sale now!
To bring your group to the game, call the Stingrays Front Office at 843-744-2248! For single game tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.