The South Carolina Stingrays became the first ECHL team to clinch a spot in the 2020 Kelly Cup Playoffs when they defeated the Worcester Railers on Sunday afternoon in overtime to claim their seventh straight victory. In the past week, South Carolina was 3-0-0 with wins over three different teams at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Rays topped Greenville 6-2 on Tuesday night before securing back-to-back victories in extra time on Saturday and Sunday. SC continues to lead the league with 86 points as they prepare to turn the calendar to March later in the week.
South Carolina plays host to the Atlanta Gladiators on Wednesday morning for the team’s Education Day game before hitting the road this weekend to take on Worcester and Maine. The Rays are 7-0-0-1 this season in eight matchups with the Glads. Wednesday’s game is the penultimate meeting of the season between the two South Division opponents, with the final contest taking place in North Charleston on March 17.
STINGRAYS RECORD:41-10-3-1LAST WEEK: 3-0-0-0
TUESDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 6, GREENVILLE SWAMP RABBITS 2(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)The South Carolina Stingrays used a 4-goal second period to blow past the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on their way to a fifth straight win on Tuesday night by a score of 6-2 at the North Charleston Coliseum. Six different skaters found the back of the net for South Carolina and four had multi-point efforts led by Eddie Wittchow and Mark Cooper who each had a goal and an assist in the victory. Goaltender Logan Thompson made the start and turned aside 26 shots to earn his 20th win of the season for the Stingrays.
SATURDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 5, ATLANTA GLADIATORS 4 SO(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)An overturned call in a shootout pushed the South Carolina Stingrays past the Atlanta Gladiators for the seventh time this season and gave the club their 40th win of the 2019-20 year by a score of 5-4 in front of 8,291 fans during Star Wars Night at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday. Team captain Andrew Cherniwchan had the winner in the shootout and also scored in regulation for the seventh consecutive game while forward Cam Askew picked up three assists and goaltender Parker Milner stopped 40 shots, including a penalty shot in overtime to earn his 19th win.
SUNDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 6, WORCESTER RAILERS 5 OT(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)The first professional goal for defenseman Jesse Lees vaulted the South Carolina Stingrays to an exciting 6-5 win over the Worcester Railers on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum. Forward Steve Whitney registered a hat trick in the game for South Carolina, while both Max Novak and Kristofers Bindulis posted three assists apiece and Cam Askew netted a goal and an assist.THIS WEEKWednesday, February 26 vs. Atlanta Gladiators, 10:30 a.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Saturday, February 29 – at Worcester Railers, 7:05 p.m. (DCU Center)Sunday, March 1 – at Maine Mariners, 3:00 p.m. (Cross Insurance Arena) STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 27 – Andrew CherniwchanAssists: 34 – Max NovakPoints: 49 – Max NovakPlus/Minus: Plus-30 – Tariq HammondPenalty Minutes: 55 – Tim HarrisonShots On Goal: 189 – Andrew CherniwchanWins: 21 – Logan ThompsonGoals Against Average: 2.07 – Parker MilnerSave Percentage: 0.928 – Logan Thompson
ASKEW COMES ALIVEForward Cam Askew had his most productive offensive week of the season to date, scoring seven points on a goal and six assists in the Stingrays’ three wins. Askew now has 23 points overall during 2019-20 with nine goals and 14 helpers.
WEIS STAYS HOT FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEKThe reigning ECHL Player of the Week, forward Matthew Weis had assists in all three of SC's games last week, extending both his point streak and assist streak to 8 games. His assist streak is the longest active in the league, while his current point streak is second-longest.MARSH MAKES A SPLASHForward Alec Marsh scored goals in all three of his first three games with the Stingrays last week. A native of Bridgewater, N.J., Marsh joined South Carolina on Tuesday before appearing in all three of the team’s wins. The attacker, who played three games earlier in the season for Worcester, has been part of the winning team in all six of his ECHL appearances during his rookie professional season.
MILNER CONTINUES TO IMPRESSGoaltender Parker Milner leads the ECHL with a goals-against average of 2.07 after 26 games played. He is also 4th-best with a save percentage of 0.926. The Pittsburgh native has a record of 19-3-2-1 on the year and has won each of his last 5 starts. Milner also leads the ECHL with seven shutouts this season.
WHITNEY TURNS HEADS IN RETURNForward Steve Whitney was reassigned to SC by Hershey on Friday and scored four points over the weekend with an assist on Saturday before netting a hat trick on Sunday afternoon. The three-goal performance was his first ECHL hat trick since Feb. 26, 2016 when he was a member of the Norfolk Admirals.
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