NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays enter the week tied with the Florida Everblades for second place in the South Division after extending their point streak to nine straight contests (7-0-2). South Carolina finds themselves two points behind the Atlanta Gladiators for the top spot in the division with five games in hand. The Stingrays have a four-game slate including three battles with the Gladiators and Everblades in the most crucial week of the year so far. Friday night’s contest against the Savannah Ghost Pirates is a continuation of the suspended game from December 17th with the teams playing the final two periods of a scoreless match.
STINGRAYS RECORD:19-5-3-1LAST WEEK: 2-0-1-0
WEDNESDAY: ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS 3, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2 (OT)(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)
The Stingrays jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Bear Hughes’ tally with 2:05 remaining in the first period before Orlando evened the score with a goal 4:42 into the second frame. Benton Maass regained the Stingrays' lead 2:07 later and carried the 2-1 lead into the third period. The Solar Bears once again tied the game early in the third frame and forced overtime before Chris Harpur’s first professional goal gave Orlando the victory.
FRIDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 4, ATLANTA GLADIATORS 0(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)
Clay Stevenson shined in his second professional shutout, stopping all 29 shots he faced in a 4-0 win over the Atlanta Gladiators on Friday. With the win, the Stingrays extended their point streak on home ice to 14 games to open the season. Justin Florek tallied a pair of power play goals, followed by a goal from Carter Turnbull on the man advantage for a 3-0 lead at the end of 40 minutes. Andrew Cherniwchan sealed the deal with an empty net goal late in the third period.
SATURDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 4, SAVANNAH GHOST PIRATES 1(Enmarket Arena – Savannah, GA)
Bear Hughes, Carter Turnbull, and Josh Wilkins all tallied goals in the opening period to give the Stingrays a cushion to hold off the Ghost Pirates on the road. Savannah made a late push by pulling their netminder and using an extra attacker to net their only goal of the game. For the second straight night, Andrew Cherniwchan iced the game on an empty net goal, his sixth marker of the year. Tyler Wall stopped a professional-best 40 saves on 41 shots for the win.
THIS WEEKWednesday, January 11: at Atlanta Gladiators, 7:00 p.m. (Gas South Arena)Friday, January 13: vs. Savannah Ghost Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Saturday, January 14: vs. Florida Everblades, 6:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Sunday, January 15: vs. Florida Everblades, 3:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)Video Coverage: FloHockey; Radio Coverage: Stingrays Broadcast Network
STINGRAYS LEADERSGoals: 19 – Carter TurnbullAssists: 19 –Bear HughesPoints: 33 – Bear HughesPlus/Minus: Plus-12 – Anthony Del Gaizo, Connor MoorePenalty Minutes: 62 – Evan WardleyShots On Goal: 98 – Carter TurnbullWins: 8 – Clay Stevenson, Tyler WallGoals Against Average: 2.12 – Clay StevensonSave Percentage: 0.931 – Clay Stevenson
RIVALRY RENEWEDFor the first time this season, South Carolina and Florida will renew their rivalry at the North Charleston Coliseum for a pair of games this Saturday and Sunday. The two teams have faced off a total of 223 times since the Everblades' inaugural season (1998-1999) and are at a near deadlock. The Stingrays are 99-100-25 against the reigning Kelly Cup Champions after going 1-5-2 during last year’s rebuild. The lone win came in the eighth and final game in which South Carolina won 6-3 to close out the home portion of their 2021-22 schedule.
TURNBULL KEEPS CLIMBINGForward Carter Turnbull has found the scoring touch once again this season, tallying markers in back-to-back contests. The native of Nanaimo, BC has scored eight goals in the last nine games, propelling him to second in the ECHL with 19 goals to go along with 10 assists for 29 points in 29 games this year. Turnbull has been a huge asset for the Stingrays with three of his goals coming at opportune times and netting three game-winning goals for the best team in the Eastern Conference.
DONUTS FOR STEVENSONClay Stevenson kicked off his professional hockey career on November 5th with 38 saves on 40 shots. Since then, the netminder out of Drayton Valley, AB has been nothing but superb, saving 93.1% of shots he has faced and giving up 2.12 goals per game on average. This past week, Stevenson made 35 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss last Wednesday before earning his second shutout of the season on Friday in a 29-save effort against the top seed in the South Division, the Atlanta Gladiators.
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