The ECHL on Tuesday announced the coaches for the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Toyota, which included South Carolina Stingrays head coach Steve Bergin as the leader of the Eastern Conference’s team. The All-Star event is hosted by the Wichita Thunder on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. ET at INTRUST Bank Arena and will air live on NHL Network.Bergin was selected for the honor as a result of the Stingrays owning the top winning percentage in the conference with a record of 24-4-3-1 (0.813).
Under Bergin’s guidance this season, South Carolina ranks first in the ECHL on defense, allowing just 2.19 goals per game. The club also has the top penalty killing percentage in the league at 88.9% and the best goal differential at +40.
A native of Groton, Mass., Bergin was named the ninth head coach in Stingrays’ history on April 26 after serving as the team’s assistant coach for three seasons from 2016-19. Before starting his coaching career, Bergin spent five seasons as a defenseman with the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League from 2011-16, capturing SPHL titles in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Prior to turning pro, Bergin played four seasons at the University of Connecticut and was a product of Lawrence Academy as well as the Boston Jr. Bruins.
Following the format established last season, the Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with four teams competing for the top spot. The host Wichita Thunder will make up two of the four teams and face-off against the other two teams made up of All-Star players from the Eastern and Western Conference. These four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament with rally scoring in order to crown a winner.The 2020 Kansas Star Casino/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place in between rounds of the tournament, with results counting towards the cumulative score.
The Stingrays are back in action on Tuesday night to take on the Atlanta Gladiators at the North Charleston Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.—Tickets for all of the team’s upcoming 2019-20 home contests are on sale now via Ticketmaster.