The South Carolina Stingrays return home this week for three games in three days against the Fort Wayne Komets at the North Charleston Coliseum. Fort Wayne will be a formidable opponent for the Rays, as the Komets have secured points in 13 of their first 14 games this season and hold the top points percentage in the Western Conference this season at 0.821. The Stingrays will be looking to bounce back from last week’s road trip to Florida which saw the team drop three contests in four days to the Solar Bears and Everblades.
South Carolina has an all-time record of 2-1-1 against the Komets, with the teams’ last meetings coming in March of 2014. The clubs split a weekend series March 28-29, with the Rays winning the most recent contest on an overtime game-winner by forward Peter Boyd, who recorded a hat trick in the game. The three meetings between SC and Fort Wayne this week are the lone matchups between the two clubs during the 2020-21 season.
STINGRAYS RECORD:12-12-6-2LAST WEEK: 0-3-0-0
TUESDAY: ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 1(Amway Center – Orlando, FL)Goaltender Clint Windsor stopped 25 shots to lead the Orlando Solar Bears past the South Carolina Stingrays by a final score of 4-1 on Tuesday night at the Amway Center. Forward Caleb Herbert scored the lone goal for South Carolina in the contest, beating Windsor at 8:43 of the middle period. Stingrays' netminder Alex Dubeau turned aside 20 shots in a losing effort.
WEDNESDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)A pair of second period goals from Alex Kile were too much for the South Carolina Stingrays to overcome as the Florida Everblades secured a 4-2 decision on home ice at Hertz Arena on Wednesday night. Forwards Andrew Cherniwchan and Max Novak picked up goals for the Stingrays in a losing effort, while goaltender Hunter Shepard turned out 27 Florida shots in his eighth start of the season.
FRIDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 0(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)Florida Everblades goaltender Jake Hildebrand earned a 29-save shutout and Michael Huntebrinker scored twice in the third period during a 4-0 win over the South Carolina Stingrays Friday night at Hertz Arena. Goaltender Hunter Shepard turned out 31 shots in a losing effort for South Carolina, who was blanked for the first time during the 2020-21 season.THIS WEEKFriday, March 19 – vs. Fort Wayne Komets, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Saturday, March 20 – vs. Fort Wayne Komets, 6:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Sunday, March 21 – vs. Fort Wayne Komets, 3:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 12 – Cole UllyAssists: 21 – Max NovakPoints: 25 – Cole UllyPlus/Minus: Plus-6 – Max NovakPenalty Minutes: 89 – Cole FraserShots On Goal: 78 – Justin FlorekWins: 6 – Alex DubeauGoals Against Average: 2.76 – Hunter ShepardSave Percentage: 0.912 – Hunter Shepard
HERBERT PICKS UP WHERE HE LEFT OFFForward Caleb Herbert was re-assigned to South Carolina last week by the Hershey Bears and earned points in each of his first two games last week in Florida. The attacker scored the team’s lone goal against Orlando on Tuesday and picked up an assist on Wednesday against the Everblades. Herbert has now totaled 11 points in 14 contests with SC this season on five goals and six assists.
ULLY LEADS THE WAYForward Cole Ully leads the Stingrays this season with 25 points on 12 goals and 13 assists in 22 games played. His point total is tied for 13th overall in the league, while the Calgary, Alberta native’s 12 goals are 11th-best in the ECHL.
NOVAK STAYS ON TRACKSixth-year pro Max Novak is currently third in the league with 21 assists this season. The Oak Ridge, N.J. native scored Friday night in Florida, his third tally of the year in 30 games. Two of his assists have come shorthanded, which is tied for first in the ECHL.
FAST STARTS LEADING TO SUCCESSSouth Carolina will be looking to have good starts during their upcoming homestand over the next two weeks. The Rays hold a record of 9-2-3 this year when they score the opening goal as well as a 6-1-0 record when leading after the first period and a 6-0-0 mark when they are in front after 40 minutes.
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