With three weeks to go in the 2018-19 regular season, the South Carolina Stingrays are still right in the thick of things in the South Division playoff race. The Rays are even with the Atlanta Gladiators for fourth place and the final spot in the postseason, each team having secured 64 points in the standings. Last week South Carolina picked up a point in a shootout loss against the Glads at the start of the week and ended with a win over Florida, the top team in the division, at the end of the week. The Stingrays will play three more contests this week, two at home against the Kansas City Mavericks on Tuesday and Friday before a trip to Greenville to take on the Swamp Rabbits on Saturday night.
South Carolina split a pair of contests in Kansas City at the start of February in their first meeting with the Mavericks since 2016. Kansas City is in fourth place in the league’s Mountain Division, currently in position for a postseason appearance. The Stingrays have a 4-3-1 record against their in-state rivals this season, with Saturday’s game serving as the final meeting of the regular season between SC and Greenville.
STINGRAYS RECORD: 29-30-5-1LAST WEEK: 1-2-0-1
WEDNESDAY: ATLANTA GLADIATORS 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 3 SO(Infinite Energy Arena – Duluth, GA)The Atlanta Gladiators came back from down three goals and earned a victory Wednesday night by winning an 11-round shootout over the South Carolina Stingrays at the Infinite Energy Arena. Forward Mason Mitchell scored twice in his first game of the season with South Carolina, while forward Tad Kozun added two assists and goaltender Parker Milner stopped 35 shots in 65 minutes before making another nine saves in the shootout.
FRIDAY: NORFOLK ADMIRALS 6, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 3(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)Despite a putting up a season-high 52 shots on goal, the South Carolina Stingrays came up short at the hands of the Norfolk Admirals on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum, losing by a score of 6-3. The Rays’ goals were scored by forwards Josh Gratton, Tad Kozun and Grant Besse, while Andrew Cherniwchan recorded his 60th point of the season with an assist and captain Joey Leach also registered a helper in his return to the Stingrays.
SATURDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 3(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)The South Carolina Stingrays were unable to recover from an early 2-0 deficit in the first period and fell to the division-leading Florida Everblades by a final score of 4-3 on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. Stingrays forward Grant Besse scored twice in the game, securing his team-leading 27th and 28th goals on the year, while defender Miles Liberati added a tally in the final minutes to allow the Rays a late opportunity at evening the game.
SUNDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 6, FLORIDA EVERBLADES 4(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)The South Carolina Stingrays got goals from six different skaters and held off a late charge by the Florida Everblades to secure a 6-4 victory on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum. Forward Jonathan Charbonneau led the way with a goal and two assists, while defender Ryker Killins scored a goal and an assist and forward Grant Besse added two helpers. Goaltender Parker Milner earned the win with 28 saves in the contest for South Carolina, including 16 in the third period.
THIS WEEKTuesday, March 19 – vs. Kansas City Mavericks, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Friday, March 22 – vs. Kansas City Mavericks, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Saturday, March 23 – at Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 7 p.m. (Bon Secours Wellness Arena)STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 28 – Grant BesseAssists: 35 – Andrew CherniwchanPoints: 61 – Andrew CherniwchanPlus/Minus: Plus-7 – Joey LeachPenalty Minutes: 117 – Andrew CherniwchanShots On Goal: 236 – Grant BesseWins: 14 – Parker MilnerGoals Against Average: 2.95 – Adam MorrisonSave Percentage: 0.908 – Parker Milner
KOZUN CONTINUES TO SHINEForward Tad Kozun led the Rays on the scoresheet for the second consecutive week, adding five points on a goal and four assists after posting a total of four points the week prior. The attacker began the week with two assists on Wednesday in Atlanta, helping Mason Mitchell score two goals in his first ECHL contest of the season. Then on Friday, he scored his 15th goal of the year in a losing effort against Norfolk before adding assists on Saturday and Sunday against Florida. Overall, Kozun has totaled 44 points this season on 15 goals and 29 assists and ranks fourth on the team in scoring.
MITCHELL ADDS OFFENSIVE SPARK TO RAYS’ LINEUPForward Mason Mitchell has scored three times in his first two ECHL games this season, posting two tallies on Wednesday against Atlanta before deflecting a shot by defenseman Ryker Killins to the back of the net against Florida on Sunday afternoon. Mitchell, who has appeared in 11 games this year with the Rays’ AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, has dominated in his limited time in the ECHL over the last two campaigns with nine points in eight games on seven goals and two assists.
MEGANNETY TRIGGERS ‘UNDIE SUNDAY’ WITH FIRST GOALForward Patrick Megannety blasted a shot past Florida goaltender Callum Booth for his first tally of the season during the first period of Sunday afternoon’s game to set off the team’s ‘Undie Sunday’ promotion. Stingrays fans tossed new underwear on the ice after during the goal celebration for donation to One80 Place in Charleston. The Oakville, Ont. native has now played in 12 games since returning from injured reserve on Feb. 23.Single-game tickets for all games during the 2018-19 season are on sale now at the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office and ticketmaster.com.
Groups of 10 or more feature discounted pricing and great benefits! For more information, call the Stingrays front office at 843-744-2248.