Two more wins on the road in Norfolk last week have the South Carolina Stingrays at the top of the ECHL standings for the second straight week with an overall record of 32-6-3-1 and 68 points. The Rays have now earned points in 20 consecutive games away from home and have an overall record of 18-1-3-1 on the road this season. South Carolina only surrendered one goal in the weekend series, lowering their league-best team goals-against average to just 1.95. The Stingrays also excelled on special teams, scoring a power play goal in each game while holding Norfolk to a combined 0-for-9 on the man-advantage in the two contests. South Carolina leads the ECHL with an overall penalty kill percentage of 91.4%.
The Stingrays begin this week with a trip to Greenville for a matchup with the Swamp Rabbits on Wednesday night before returning to North Charleston for a pair of home contests on Friday and Saturday. SC will face-off with Norfolk for the third time in four games on Friday night, while Saturday’s contest will be the eighth of the season against the rival Florida Everblades, who the Rays have gone 4-2-1 against this year.
STINGRAYS RECORD: 32-6-3-1LAST WEEK: 2-0-0-0
FRIDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 4, NORFOLK ADMIRALS 1(Norfolk Scope – Norfolk, VA)Goaltender Logan Thompson led the South Carolina Stingrays to a 4-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals Friday night by turning aside 27 shots in the opening game of a weekend series between the two teams at the Norfolk Scope. Max Novak, Cam Askew, Tommy Hughes and Mark Cooper all posted tallies for South Carolina in the victory.
SATURDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 3, NORFOLK ADMIRALS 0(Norfolk Scope – Norfolk, VA)After a win in the ECHL’s All-Star Classic earlier in the week, goaltender Parker Milner followed up the performance by stopping all 26 shots he faced on Saturday night. The standout netminder earned his second shutout in his last three games, leading the South Carolina Stingrays to a 3-0 defeat of the Norfolk Admirals at the Norfolk Scope. Despite Milner’s brilliance, Norfolk’s Michael McNiven held the Admirals in the game, stopping the first 29 shots that South Carolina put on net before the Rays broke through in the third period. Three tallies in the final frame gave the Rays a series sweep of Norfolk and wins in six of their first eight contests against the Admirals.THIS WEEKWednesday, January 29 at Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 7:05 p.m. (Bon Secours Wellness Arena)Friday, January 31 vs. Norfolk Admirals, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Saturday, February 1 – vs. Florida Everblades, 6:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum) STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 18 – Andrew CherniwchanAssists: 26 – Max NovakPoints: 37 – Andrew Cherniwchan, Mark CooperPlus/Minus: Plus-28 – Andrew CherniwchanPenalty Minutes: 43 – Tim HarrisonShots On Goal: 142 – Andrew CherniwchanWins: 17 – Logan ThompsonGoals Against Average: 1.83 – Logan ThompsonSave Percentage: 0.939 – Logan ThompsonTOP-NOTCH GOALTENDING TANDEMThe Stingrays continue to be led by their outstanding goaltending tandem of Logan Thompson and Parker Milner, who are at the top of the league’s goaltending leaders and combined to allow just one goal to Norfolk last weekend. Thompson, who allowed just one goal on 28 shots during Saturday’s 4-1 win, held on to his lead in the ECHL’s goals-against average and save percentage categories with marks of 1.83 and 0.939 respectively. The Calgary, Alberta’s 17 wins are also tied for third-most in the league. Milner was not to be outdone and posted his league-leading 7th shutout of the season on Saturday night. He is second in the ECHL in both GAA (1.85) and save percentage (0.932).
NOVAK KEEPS DISHING OUT ASSISTSForward Max Novak had a goal and an assist last weekend and now has points in four of his last five outings overall with one goal and four assists. This season, Novak leads the team with 26 assists and ranks third on the club in scoring with 36 points overall.TOP RANKED PENALTY KILLSouth Carolina currently has the best penalty killing percentage in the ECHL, discarding 91.4% of their opponents’ power play opportunities during the 2019-20 season. In 162 times shorthanded this season, the Rays have allowed just 14 power play goals. SC has been particularly good on the penalty kill in their 19 home contests, allowing just four goals during 70 power play chances to give themselves a 94.3% success rate which also leads the league. On the road, South Carolina has killed off 89.1% of their 92 penalties.SECOND PERIOD SPECIALISTSThe Stingrays have been at their best during the second period this season, outscoring opponents 46-18 for a 28-goal margin. South Carolina also has a +77 shot differential in the middle frame, outshooting opponents by a total of 480-403. The next-lowest goal total an ECHL team has allowed in the second period is Cincinnati with 33 goals surrendered. SC has also allowed the third-least shots on goal of any team in the second.