The final week of the ECHL regular season is set to begin and there should be no shortage of excitement for the South Carolina Stingrays, who are locked in a tie for fourth place in the South Division with the Atlanta Gladiators, each team having secured 72 points. Those two clubs will have the chance to battle it out for the final postseason spot this weekend, playing a home-in-home set of games beginning Saturday night in North Charleston. The regular season will conclude Sunday afternoon in Duluth, Ga. with a 3:05 p.m. game. The Rays have won five of their last six games overall, but will need to be at their best in their final two outings to secure a spot in the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by SmileDirectClub.
South Carolina has already faced Atlanta 12 times this year, earning a 7-1-3-1 record against their most common opponent during 2018-19. The Rays won their first six meetings against the Gladiators but then fell short in five straight before Sunday’s 4-2 victory. Atlanta has an extra game remaining on their schedule that will take place Thursday night in Orlando against the Solar Bears.
STINGRAYS RECORD: 33-31-5-1LAST WEEK: 1-1-0-0
SATURDAY: ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS 3, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)The South Carolina Stingrays were unable to hang on to a 2-goal lead in the third period and fell to the Orlando Solar Bears by a final score of 3-2 on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. Patrick Gaul hit the back of the net in his first game after returning from injury, while Mason Mitchell scored for the second straight contest. Mitchell now has points in five of his six games with SC this season. Stingrays’ goaltender Parker Milner turned aside 30 saves in a losing effort.
SUNDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 4, ATLANTA GLADIATORS 2(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)Cam Askew had a goal and an assist as the South Carolina Stingrays scored a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Gladiators on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum to even up the race for a playoff spot in the South Division. Other Stingrays goals were scored by Patrick Gaul, Grant Besse and Andrew Cherniwchan, while goaltender Parker Milner picked up the victory in between the pipes with 32 saves.
THIS WEEKSaturday, April 6 – vs. Atlanta Gladiators, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Sunday, April 7 – at Atlanta Gladiators, 3:05 p.m. (Infinite Energy Arena)STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 30 – Grant BesseAssists: 37 – Andrew CherniwchanPoints: 65 – Andrew CherniwchanPlus/Minus: Plus-9 – Joey LeachPenalty Minutes: 129 – Andrew CherniwchanShots On Goal: 260 – Grant BesseWins: 17 – Parker MilnerGoals Against Average: 2.87 – Adam MorrisonSave Percentage: 0.910 – Parker Milner
ASKEW KEEPS IT GOINGRookie forward Cam Askew had another big performance on Sunday afternoon, scoring the game-winning goal to defeat Atlanta while on the power play in the third period. The Boston native also picked up an assist, which gives him a total of 24 points this season in 45 games. Askew, who finished the month of March with a team-high +10 rating, has 15 goals on the year which is tied for fourth-most on the team.
GAUL RETURNS WITH BIG WEEKENDPlaying in his first games since Mar. 10, forward Patrick Gaul scored in both of SC’s contests over the weekend. Both of his tallies came in the first period and opened the scoring each night. The veteran attacker who is affectionately known as the ‘Double Deuce’ in the Lowcountry is looking to help the Stingrays to the postseason during his seventh consecutive campaign with South Carolina. In 58 contests this year, Gaul has totaled 23 points.
KILLIN ITDefenseman Ryker Killins has posted a +7 rating in his first 12 pro contests with South Carolina, the second-best mark on the club this season. The blueliner had two multi-point games last month and a total of eight points on three goals and five assists since joining the Stingrays after finishing his senior season at Ferris State University.
BESSE GETS GOAL #30With a tally during the second period of Sunday’s win over Atlanta, forward Grant Besse hit the 30-goal mark for the second consecutive season. Besse, who leads the squad in goal scoring and is second with 60 total points, is just two points shy of his scoring total from his rookie year with the Norfolk Admirals in four less games. The University of Wisconsin grad has turned it on late in the year, totaling nine points in his last seven contests.Tickets for the final home game of 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.