After playing their last seven games away from home, the South Carolina Stingrays return to the North Charleston Coliseum to begin a busy week that includes back-to-back games against the Indy Fuel before a trip to Jacksonville for a pair of contests against the Icemen on the weekend. The Rays are looking to make up ground against both teams, who are each ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings. Last week SC took three points from a three-game series with the Florida Everblades at Hertz Arena, winning on Wednesday in overtime before falling short by a goal on both Friday and Saturday.
In their only previous matchup against the Fuel this season on April 7 in Indianapolis, the Stingrays fell 2-1 in overtime. SC has spent much more time battling Jacksonville, going 6-3-4 against the Icemen in 13 prior outings during 2020-21. While the Rays netted power play goals in each of their last two contests in Florida, the team has fared much better on the man-advantage while at home this season, ranking fifth in the ECHL at 19.5%.
STINGRAYS RECORD:24-20-10-3LAST WEEK: 1-1-1-0
WEDNESDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 3, FLORIDA EVERBLADES 2 OT(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)Blake Hillman scored twice, including the game-winner exactly four minutes into overtime, to give the South Carolina Stingrays a 3-2 win over the Florida Everblades Wednesday night in the opening match of a 3-game set this week at Hertz Arena. Forward Brett Supinski also picked up a goal in the second period and an assist on Hillman’s overtime strike, while Matthew Weis had two assists and goaltender Alex Dubeau stopped 32 total shots including multiple crucial saves late in the game to earn his 13th win of the year.
FRIDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 6, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 5 OT(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)The Florida Everblades came out on top 6-5 in overtime Friday night at Hertz Arena, defeating the South Carolina Stingrays on a breakaway goal by their captain John McCarron at 1:08 of the extra session after a wild end to regulation that saw both teams score in the final minute of play. South Carolina’s captain Andrew Cherniwchan led his team in defeat, scoring twice and adding an assist, while Brett Supinski had a goal and an assist for the second straight game and Mark Cooper picked up two helpers.
SATURDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 3, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)The Florida Everblades scored the only goal of the third period which was enough to get past the South Carolina Stingrays, who had a 40-26 edge in shots on goal, by a final score of 3-2 at Hertz Arena on Saturday night. Stingrays' goals came from forwards Mark Cooper and Dan DeSalvo, while goaltender Matt Jurusik made 23 saves and Matthew Weis extended his point streak to seven games with an assist.THIS WEEKTuesday, May 11 – vs. Indy Fuel, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Wednesday, May 12 – vs. Indy Fuel, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Friday, May 14 – at Jacksonville Icemen, 7 p.m. (VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena)Saturday, May 15 – at Jacksonville Icemen, 7 p.m. (VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena)STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 18 – Cole UllyAssists: 32 – Cole UllyPoints: 50 – Cole UllyPlus/Minus: Plus-5 – Ryan Cook, Tariq HammondPenalty Minutes: 48 – Zach MalatestaShots On Goal: 132 – Justin FlorekWins: 13 – Alex DubeauGoals Against Average: 2.91 – Alex DubeauSave Percentage: 0.920 – Matt Jurusik
SUPINSKI FINDS HIS STRIDEForward Brett Supinski posted points in all three of South Carolina’s games in Estero last week, recording a goal and an assist in the first two contests before adding a helper on a goal by Dan DeSalvo Saturday night. His recent run includes three multi-point outings in his last six games overall. In total, Supinski has reached the 30-point plateau for the second straight season by posting 11 goals and 19 assists in 52 games during his sophomore professional season.
CHERNIWCHAN CONTINUES HOT PLAYStingrays captain Andrew Cherniwchan kept his recent hot streak going last week, totaling a season-high three points on Friday with two goals and an assist. The leader is third on the team in scoring with 37 total points this season in 55 contests. In his last 15 games, the Hinton, Alberta native has scored 19 points (8g, 11a) and has a streak of assists in six straight home games that remains active as the longest current run in the league.
WEIS’ RUN REACHES 7Forward Matthew Weis has picked up points in seven straight games for South Carolina, scoring 10 points during the run on a goal and nine assists. In 25 ECHL games with the Rays this year, Weis, who is playing on an AHL contract with the Hershey Bears, has accounted for 16 points on five goals and 11 assists.
SHORTHANDED SUCCESSSouth Carolina held Florida’s power play off the board during their three-game series at Hertz Arena last week, going a combined 9-for-9 on the penalty kill. Dating back to May 3, the Rays have successfully killed their last 12 penalties. On their recent 7-game road trip, SC went 16-for-18, finishing at an 89% rate. Overall this season, the team ranks second in the ECHL in road penalty kill percentage at 86%, allowing a league-low 15 power play goals in games played away from home.—Tickets for all of the team’s upcoming 2020-21 home contests are on sale now via Ticketmaster.
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