Back-to-back wins over Atlanta and Orlando last weekend have given the South Carolina Stingrays at a perfect 3-0-0 start to the 2019-20 season. The Rays have gotten great performances in all three phases of the game and are in the top five in the ECHL in team scoring and team defense. 10 different skaters have scored in the three victories and 14 different players have already posted a point. In addition, the Stingrays are averaging just seven penalty minutes per game, the lowest in the ECHL, and the club is a perfect 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.
South Carolina travels to Norfolk this week for a three-game set with the Admirals. The two teams will see each other 12 different times this season, which is tied with Orlando for the Stingrays’ most common opponent on their 2019-20 slate. Last season SC finished just 2-6-0 against the Admirals in eight contests.
STINGRAYS RECORD: 3-0-0-0LAST WEEK: 2-0-0-0FRIDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 5, ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS 3(Infinite Energy Center – Duluth, GA)Five different goal scorers lit the lamp for the Stingrays in a 5-3 win over the Atlanta Gladiators Friday night at the Infinite Energy Center. In the Rays’ first appearance in Duluth since last year’s playoff clinching win on the final day of the season, goaltender Logan Thompson made 23 saves to earn his first victory of the season in his first appearance for South Carolina. Linemates Casey Bailey and Cole Ully each tallied a goal and an assist to lead the way for the Stingrays, while Andrew Cherniwchan, Dylan Steman and Ed Wittchow all netted their first goals of the year.
SATURDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 4, ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS 2(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)The Stingrays scored twice in the first and twice more in the second on Opening Night at the North Charleston Coliseum Saturday to knock off the Orlando Solar Bears by a score of 4-2 for the second time this season. Four South Carolina forwards had multi-point nights with Mark Cooper, Dan DeSalvo and Andrew Cherniwchan each registering a goal and an assist, while Max Novak earned two helpers. Goaltender Parker Milner picked up the win with a 21-save effort to improve to 2-0 on the season.THIS WEEKWednesday, October 23 – at Norfolk Admirals, 7:35 p.m. (Norfolk Scope)Friday, October 25 – at Norfolk Admirals, 7:35 p.m. (Norfolk Scope)Saturday, October 26 – at Norfolk Admirals, 7:35 p.m. (Norfolk Scope)STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 2 – Mark Cooper, Casey Bailey, Andrew CherniwchanAssists: 4 – Cole Ully, Dan DeSalvoPoints: 2 – Andrew Cherniwchan, Cole Ully, Dan DeSalvoPlus/Minus: Plus-5 – Tom ParisiPenalty Minutes: 5 – Cameron AskewShots On Goal: 19 – Mark CooperWins: 2 – Parker MilnerGoals Against Average: 2.00 – Parker MilnerSave Percentage: 0.920 – Parker MilnerMILNER STARTS STRONGGoaltender Parker Milner has begun his season with consecutive 4-2 victories over Orlando, earning a 2-0-0 record to start the year. The netminder made 20 saves in his season debut and then followed that up with a 26-save performance in Saturday’s victory. Milner’s 2.00 goals-against average currently ranks fifth in the ECHL. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native and Boston College alum is playing his seventh professional season and fourth consecutive campaign while on an AHL contract with the Hershey Bears. The netminder has suited up in 123 games with the Stingrays over the past four seasons, winning a total of 75 games.
SPREADING OUT THE SCORINGForwards Andrew Cherniwchan, Dan DeSalvo and Cole Ully are in a three-way tie for the team lead in scoring, each having earned five points through the Stingrays three games. Cherniwchan scored in both contests last week, while DeSalvo had an assist Friday before netting his first tally of the year in Saturday’s win. Ully scored his first goal as a Ray on Friday and then assisted on Mark Cooper’s power play strike to open the scoring on Saturday.
COOPER’S FIRSTAfter scoring the first goal of the season for the Stingrays in the team’s season-opener in Orlando, forward Mark Cooper also had the first strike of 2019-20 at the North Charleston Coliseum Saturday night, converting on a power play in the first period. The Toronto, Ont. native leads the club with 19 shots on goal through SC’s first three contests. Cooper, a Bowling Green State University alum, has totaled 129 career ECHL points in 155 games with the Stingrays, Kansas City Mavericks and Rapid City Rush. He has also earned AHL call-up opportunities with the Chicago Wolves, Tucson Roadrunners and San Antonio Rampage during his four-year pro career.PLUSSES FOR PARISIDefenseman Tom Parisi leads the Stingrays with a +5 rating after the club’s first three games of the 2019-20 season. The Commack, N.Y. native was a +1 in the team’s opener on Oct. 12 before recording a +4 rating on Friday night in Atlanta when he was on the ice for four of the team’s five goals. Parisi is also one of four SC skaters who have registered a point in all three of the team’s outings, joining forwards Andrew Cherniwchan, Dan DeSalvo and Cole Ully. The Providence College alum has also racked up nine total shots on net, including three in each game.
—South Carolina is back at home for three games in three days November 15, 16 and 17. Nov. 16 is the team’s first ever Hockey Fights Cancer Night! Tickets for all of the team’s upcoming 2019-20 home contests are on sale now via Ticketmaster.