The South Carolina Stingrays are looking to break out of a slump this week as they prepare for a two-game road series in Jacksonville against the Icemen. SC was unable to earn any points last week from a home stretch that included four games. As a result, the club is in fifth place in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference with an overall record of 9-8-4 and a points percentage at .524.
The Stingrays won their first three meetings against Jacksonville earlier this season but have come up short in their most recent two contests with the Icemen which have both come at the North Charleston Coliseum. South Carolina will be looking to keep games close as they continue on in 2020-21, as previously they have earned points from all eight of their one-goal games this season with a record of 4-0-4.
STINGRAYS RECORD:9-8-4-0LAST WEEK: 0-4-0-0
WEDNESDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)Although the South Carolina Stingrays erased an early deficit, the Florida Everblades scored twice in the third period to take the lead back and earn a 4-2 decision at the North Charleston Coliseum on Wednesday night. Forwards Graham Knott and Mark Cooper found the back of the net in the game for the Rays. Both goals came with assists by Brett Supinski and goaltender Jake Kupsky played well in the crease, stopping 30 Florida shots in a losing effort.
FRIDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 5, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)The Florida Everblades scored goals in each period on their way to a 5-2 win over the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. Linemates Dan DeSalvo and Mark Cooper each had multi-point nights in a losing effort for the Rays, with DeSalvo scoring a goal and an assist as Cooper picked up two helpers.
SATURDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 5, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 1(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)Despite an aggressive effort at the start, the South Carolina Stingrays came up short to the Florida Everblades in front of a socially distant sellout crowd on Military Appreciation Night Saturday at the North Charleston Coliseum, falling by a final score of 5-1. Forward Dan DeSalvo scored the lone goal of the night for South Carolina, netting a power play tally during the second period.
SUNDAY: JACKSONVILLE ICEMEN 5, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 3(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)The South Carolina Stingrays were unable to overcome an early deficit and fell to the Jacksonville Icemen by a score of 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum. Defender Zach Malatesta made a big impact offensively for South Carolina, assisting on two of the team’s goals, while goaltender Jake Kupsky came on in relief and stopped 22 shots as his team attempted a comeback.THIS WEEKFriday, February 19 – at Jacksonville Icemen, 7 p.m. (VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena)Saturday, February 20 – at Jacksonville Icemen, 7 p.m. (VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena)STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 6 – Dan DeSalvoAssists: 12 – Max NovakPoints: 14 – Max NovakPlus/Minus: Plus-7 – Max NovakPenalty Minutes: 62 – Cole FraserShots On Goal: 53 – Dan DeSalvoWins: 4 – Alex Dubeau*Goals Against Average: 2.07 – Hunter ShepardSave Percentage: 0.928 – Hunter Shepard* - In The AHL
DETERMINED DESALVOForward Dan DeSalvo had a big night on Friday, posting a goal and an assist in the second period while leading the Rays with five shots on net. The attacker assisted on Cam Askew’s power play goal before scoring on the man-advantage himself just 24 seconds later with a great individual effort. DeSalvo followed with another power play goal on Saturday and an assist in Sunday’s contest. The Bowling Green State University graduate now leads the Rays with six tallies on the season and has totaled seven points in his last six outings. His 12 total points (6g, 6a) are second-most on the team this season.
MALATESTA CEMENTS HIMSELF ON DEFENSEDefender Zach Malatesta has become a mainstay for the Rays on the blue line this season after beginning his pro career as an Atlanta Gladiator for three years. Most recently, Malatesta has earned power play assists in three straight games. The first two set up Dan DeSalvo for goals, while his Sunday man-advantage helper came on Darien Craighead’s strike. Malatesta also had an assist on Max Novak’s third period goal Sunday. In 10 games with SC this season, the Wilmington, Mass. native has a goal and seven helpers for eight points.
SUPINSKI STANDING OUTForward Brett Supinski scored his fifth goal of the season Sunday, deflecting a shot by Dylan Steman into the Jacksonville net. The Collegeville, Pa. native has now scored three of his five goals this season against the Icemen. His recent hot streak has seen him register points in seven of the Rays’ last 10 games. In the Rays’ last six games, Supinski has six points on two goals and four assists. The Union College alum has also posted points in five straight road games dating back to Jan. 2.
CRAIGHEAD CONTINUES OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTIONSRookie forward Darien Craighead netted his fourth goal of the season Sunday, which has him tied for fifth on the team in goal scoring. The tally came on the power play and served as his fourth man-advantage point of the year, which is tied with Dan DeSalvo for most on the club. In addition, Craighead is now 4th among all ECHL rookies with a shooting percentage of 22.2% this season.
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