The South Carolina Stingrays began last weekend’s trip to Florida with a convincing win Friday but failed to earn points the following two days, returning home to North Charleston in anticipation of another three-game week. Overall, South Carolina has an 8-3-3 record and holds third place in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference after 14 games with a points percentage of 0.679. The Rays have continued to play well when securing an early lead and are 7-1-1 when they’ve scored the first goal. In addition, SC has averaged the 3rd-most shots on goal per game in the ECHL (33.71).
This week, the Stingrays face Greenville in a home-and-home series on Wednesday and Thursday before hosting Jacksonville at the North Charleston Coliseum on Friday night. South Carolina has a 2-1-3 record in six matchups with the Swamp Rabbits this season as well as an unbeaten 3-0-0 mark against the Icemen.
STINGRAYS RECORD:8-3-3-0LAST WEEK: 1-2-0-0
FRIDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 5, FLORIDA EVERBLADES 1(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)A dominating performance led the South Carolina Stingrays to a 5-1 win over the Florida Everblades at Hertz Arena on Friday night in the first matchup of the year between the two longtime rivals. Four Stingrays skaters had multi-point efforts in the victory, while goaltender Jake Kupsky turned aside 25 shots to earn a win in his first game for South Carolina. Forwards Brett Supinski, Cole Ully and Dan DeSalvo each had a goal and an assist, while Max Novak picked up a pair of helpers.
SATURDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 1(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)The South Carolina Stingrays were unable to hold a first period lead and fell to the Florida Everblades by a final score of 4-1 on Saturday night at Hertz Arena. SC forward Brett Supinski had the only goal for the Rays, scoring in the first period for the second straight night, while goaltender Jake Kupsky turned aside 32 shots in a losing effort.
SUNDAY: ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 1(Amway Center – Orlando, FL)The Orlando Solar Bears took an early lead and held the South Carolina Stingrays off the board until the final frame on their way to a 4-1 decision on Sunday afternoon at the Amway Center. SC defenseman Paul Meyer scored the lone tally of the day for the Rays, his first professional goal. Goaltender Jake Kupsky had a busy night in the crease, stopping 39 shots in a losing effort.THIS WEEKWednesday, February 3 – vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Thursday, February 4 – at Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 7:05 p.m. (Bon Secours Wellness Arena)Friday, February 5 – vs. Jacksonville Icemen, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 5 – Dylan Steman, Cole UllyAssists: 10 – Max NovakPoints: 11 – Max Novak, Cole UllyPlus/Minus: Plus-9 – Tariq Hammond, Max NovakPenalty Minutes: 37 – Cole FraserShots On Goal: 41 – Caleb Herbert*Wins: 4 – Alex DubeauGoals Against Average: 2.07 – Hunter ShepardSave Percentage: 0.928 – Hunter Shepard* - In The AHL
SUPINSKI STANDING OUTStingrays forward Brett Supinski scored first period goals in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday, helping South Carolina get out to an early lead in both of their contests in Florida last weekend. He then notched an assist on the team’s only goal by Paul Meyer on Sunday afternoon. The Collegeville, Pa. native was out of the lineup earlier in the month but has been on the scoresheet plenty recently, scoring points in five of his last seven games. Supinski has six points in 10 games this season (3g, 3a).
KUPSKY SHOWS OFF HIS STAMINAGoaltender Jake Kupsky played every minute of the team’s weekend road trip, starting all three contests in the Sunshine State. Kupsky stopped 25 shots on Friday night in his first game with South Carolina to help the Rays pick up a 5-1 victory over Florida. His play earned himself a start the following night, where he found himself busier in the crease, turning aside 32 shots in a losing effort. On Sunday, he made 39 saves, the highest total in any single game during his ECHL career. The Waukesha, Wis. native posted a combined 0.914 save percentage in the three outings.
NOVAK NOTCHES 3 MORE ASSISTSForward Max Novak assisted on three of South Carolina’s five goals in Friday’s win over Florida and continues to lead the club in the category with 10 helpers in his first 11 games this season. The Oak Ridge, NJ native was tied for the team lead last year with 36 assists in 59 games while eclipsing the 50-point plateau for the second time in his ECHL career. Two of his helpers have come while the Rays were shorthanded, which leads the league. In addition, after finishing with a +2 rating in Friday’s win, Novak is now tied for the team lead with a +9 mark on the year.
MEYER SCORES FIRST PRO GOALStingrays rookie defenseman Paul Meyer scored his first professional goal during Sunday’s game which came at the expense of his former team in Orlando. Meyer played two games with the Solar Bears earlier this season before he joined South Carolina. The Edina, Minn. native finished a four-year college hockey career with Colgate University last year, appearing in all the school’s 36 contests while recording six points (1g, 5a) and leading the team with 62 blocked shots.
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