NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays enter the week tied for sixth place in the South Division after splitting a weekend series with the Norfolk Admirals last weekend at the North Charleston Coliseum. A handful of players continued to stay hot for South Carolina. Ryan Dmowski tallied a goal in his third consecutive game, Barret Kirwin has a goal and two assists over his last three outings, and Derek Gentile has collected five points (one goal, four assists) over that same stretch. Justin Florek kept things moving offensively himself, recording seven points over the last seven games. Andrew Cherniwchan returned to the lineup on Friday for the first time since January 22nd and recorded a goal in each contest to expand his team leading 16th goal. Ryan Bednard picked up the lone win on the weekend with 19 saves on 20 shots.
This week, the Stingrays begin a stretch of eight games in 14 days on Tuesday against the in-state rival Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Following a 5-0-1 stretch, the Swamp Rabbits are 1-3 in their last four games that began with a loss to the Stingrays on February 5thin Greenville. The teams have split the first 10 games in the season series, picking up 12 points apiece. Following Tuesday’s contest, the Rays will head to Estero, Fla. for a pair of games against the second place Florida Everblades at Hertz Arena. In the only two games between the teams this season, Florida outscored the Rays 13-5 and picked up wins in both contests. South Carolina will finish the weekend on Sunday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena the Jacksonville Icemen. After a long stretch of games against one another, there are only two matchups remaining this year. Jacksonville has won eight of the 12 games so far this season, including a 4-2 record at VyStar.
STINGRAYS RECORD:16-23-4-0LAST WEEK: 1-1-0-0
FRIDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 3, NORFOLK ADMIRALS 1(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)
Andrew Cherniwchan returned to the lineup last night for the first time since sustaining an injury during the January 22nd game in Jacksonville. In his return, the captain picked up an assist on Ryan Dmowski’s game-tying goal early in the second period and tallied the game winning goal later that frame. Barret Kirwin added an insurance goal early in the third period for his second tally of the year. Ryan Bednard picked up the victory in net, stopping 19 of 20 shots en route to his 10th victory of the season.
SATURDAY: NORFOLK ADMIRALS 5, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)
The Admirals jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period and held the Stingrays scoreless until early in the third frame when Ryan Dmowski netted his seventh goal of the season and sixth in seven games since returning to the Lowcountry. The teams traded goals the rest of the way including Andrew Cherniwchan’s team leading 16th tuck of the year.
THIS WEEKTuesday, February 15: vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Friday, February 18: at Florida Everblades, 7:30 p.m. (Hertz Arena)Saturday, February 19: at Florida Everblades, 7:30 p.m. (Hertz Arena)Sunday, February 20: at Jacksonville Icemen, 3:05 p.m. (VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena)
STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 16 – Andrew Cherniwchan Assists: 15 – Justin FlorekPoints: 28 – Justin FlorekPlus/Minus: Plus-5– Karl BoudriasPenalty Minutes: 103 – Nico BlachmanShots On Goal: 145 – Justin FlorekWins: 10 – Ryan BednardGoals Against Average: 2.81 – Logan FlodellSave Percentage: 0.908 – Hunter Shepard
THE DALHOUSIE CONNECTIONThe Stingrays signed Derek Gentile and Barret Kirwin out of Dalhousie University in back-to-back weeks in January after beginning the year as two of the top three-point scorers for the Tigers. Both Gentile and Kirwin are on three game point-streaks, connecting as assists on each other’s goals, as well as tallying an assist each on Cherniwchan’s tally Saturday. Overall, Gentile has now recorded 13 points in 12 games since joining South Carolina. Kirwin has picked it up recently and now has five points in 10 games.
WELCOME BACK CAPAndrew Cherniwchan has had two stretches this year where he has missed a handul of games but has made triumphant returns. After missing five games in November, the captain returned to the lineup with a goal and an assist before tallying a hat trick in his next outing. Cherniwchan came off the injured reserve last week and played in his first game since January 22nd, recording another goal and an assist on Friday. Cherniwchan picked up where he left off the following night with another tally to expand his team lead.
IT ONLY TAKES A SECONDThroughout the Stingrays most recent three-game win-streak, the second period has been the tell-tale sign of a good game. The Stingrays have outscored opponents 10-3 during that span, including 6-0 in the second period. They also outshot their opponents 33-24 in the middle frame, and it has guided the Rays to a record of 12-0-2-0 when entering the third period with a lead.
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