After a light week that consisted of just a single contest, the South Carolina Stingrays begin a busy 4-game stretch on Monday in Orlando before heading to Atlanta for a mid-week matchup against the Gladiators and finish in Florida for a pair of rivalry games with the Everblades. South Carolina improved their league-best winning percentage to 0.875 with a 2-0 victory over Orlando on Saturday night, the first shutout of rookie goaltender Logan Thompson’s career. The Stingrays have won eight consecutive road games and lead the South Division with 28 points. SC’s team defense has also been outstanding this season, allowing an ECHL-best 2.06 goals per contest while leading all teams with four shutouts. Saturday night’s shutout was the team’s second straight blank slate. The club has not allowed a tally in seven consecutive periods, dating back to the second frame of last Friday night's win in Florida on Nov. 22.
Monday’s meeting in Orlando is the fifth time the Rays and Solar Bears will see each other during the 2019-20 campaign. South Carolina has won all four of the previous meetings this season. Wednesday’s tilt in Atlanta will be the second of 10 contests with the Gladiators, while the weekend series in Florida will be the third and fourth time the Stingrays and Everblades have faced-off.
STINGRAYS RECORD: 14-2-0-0LAST WEEK: 1-0-0-0
SATURDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2, ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS 0(Amway Center – Orlando, FL)Logan Thompson kept the Orlando Solar Bears off the scoreboard with 36 saves to earn his first professional shutout in a 2-0 win for the South Carolina Stingrays on Saturday night at the Amway Center. South Carolina defensemen Matt Nuttle and Tommy Hughes both netted their first goals of the season in the victory, the club’s 10th on the road this season. Thompson was at his best in the third period, helping South Carolina kill off an extended penalty kill after three straight penalties were assessed to the Rays in a span of just 1:17. The netminder finished with 14 saves in the final frame.THIS WEEKMonday, December 2 – at Orlando Solar Bears, 7 p.m. (Amway Center)Wednesday, December 4 – at Atlanta Gladiators, 7:05 p.m. (Infinite Energy Center)Friday, December 6 – at Florida Everblades, 7:30 p.m. (Hertz Arena)Saturday, December 7 – at Florida Everblades, 7 p.m. (Hertz Arena)STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 8 – Mark CooperAssists: 15 – Dan DeSalvoPoints: 18 – Dan DeSalvoPlus/Minus: Plus-14 – Tom ParisiPenalty Minutes: 19 – Mark CooperShots On Goal: 61 – Mark CooperWins: 7 – Parker MilnerGoals Against Average: 1.27 – Parker MilnerSave Percentage: 0.948 – Parker MilnerTHOMPSON EARNS FIRST CAREER SHUTOUTRookie goaltender Logan Thompson earned his first professional shutout Saturday by stopping 36 shots during a 2-0 win in Orlando. The netminder has bested the Solar Bears twice this season, allowing just two goals against in the pair of victories. Overall, the Calgary, Alberta native has a record of 6-2-0 in eight starts to begin his rookie year, posting a goals-against average of 2.47 and a save percentage at 0.907.
COOPER MAKING A DIFFERENCEForward Mark Cooper has been hot as of late, following up a two-goal performance in Florida with an assist in Saturday’s win over Orlando. Cooper has been on the scoresheet in eight of the team’s last 10 games and finished the month of November with 10 points in 10 contests (6g, 4a). The Toronto, Ontario native has also scored goals in four of the five Stingrays home games this year while totaling 16 points in 16 games overall (8g, 8a) with a +10 rating.
VANDERLAAN MAKING GOOD IMPRESSIONRookie forward Mitch Vanderlaan had three points in the two victories in Florida before Thanksgiving, scoring a goal and two assists. He also finished with a +3 rating in the series. Vanderlaan has gotten off to a hot start in his first professional season, posting eight points (4g, 4a) and a +13 rating in his first 10 appearances. His +/- rating is the best among all ECHL rookie skaters.DESALVO STAYS ON TOP OF TEAM SCORING RACEForward Dan DeSalvo is leading the Stingrays in scoring with 18 points (3g, 15a) in 16 games. The Rolling Meadows, Illinois native has points in 12 of the team’s 16 contests this season and his 15 helpers are tied for 9th-most in the ECHL.