GAME PREVIEW: SC Stingrays at Atlanta Gladiators
The South Carolina Stingrays continue their 2022-23 campaign tonight in Atlanta as they take on the Gladiators for the first time in nearly a month. Tonight’s contest starts a four-game week for the Stingrays and is their ninth road game in the last 10 games.
LAST TIME OUTAnthony Del Gaizo led the way for the Stingrays on Saturday with a pair of power play goals for his seventh and eighth markers of the year. Jackson Leppard and Kevin O’Neil added a goal each for a 4-2 Stingrays lead entering the third period. Savannah netted a pair of goals to even the game at four goals apiece and force overtime. With seven seconds remaining in overtime, Michael Kim stripped a defender and raced end-to-end for the game-winning goal with less than a second on the clock.
ALL-TIME SERIESSouth Carolina has an overall record of 128-67-12-8 in 215 all-time regular-season meetings with the Gladiators. The Stingrays are 5-1-1-1 through the first eight games of the season series and will face off with the Gladiators four more times this year. Following tonight, the final three games of the season series will take place at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Stingrays have picked up points in the last six matchups and are winners of the last three battles.
FLOREK REACHES 700With the game on Saturday, Justin Florek suited up for his 700th professional hockey game. Throughout his 11-year career, Florek has recorded 333 points on 142 goals and 191 assists. The veteran forward spent most of his career in the AHL, playing 372 games with the Providence Bruins, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and Milwaukee Admirals along with a four-game stint in the NHL with the Boston Bruins. Prior to joining the Stingrays in 2020, Florek spent three seasons in Europe with teams in Germany and Austria.
SCOUTING ATLANTAThe Gladiators are led offensively by their “Captain Line” which includes the top three producers on the team: Cody Sylvester, Mike Pelech, and Eric Neiley. Sylvester leads the way with 47 points on 20 goals and 47 assists. Pelech checks in with 44 points behind 36 assists, fourth in the ECHL, and Neiley’s nine power play goals are tied for third in the league. Atlanta enters tonight in fifth place in the South Division and is riding a five-game winless streak into the contest, including losses in 10 of the last 12 games.
BLUELINE PRODUCTIONThe Stingrays’ defense stepped up this past weekend and scored four of the team’s 10 goals on Friday and Saturday, adding seven assists as well. Michael Kim leads all Stingrays’ defensemen with 22 points on five goals and 17 assists following a game-winning goal on Saturday in Savannah. Connor Moore had a fantastic weekend, recording his first professional multi-goal game and adding three assists on the weekend for 19 total points this season. Matt Anderson added a pair of assists in each game and now has 17 points on three goals and 14 assists this year.
Upcoming 5-Game Schedule.South Carolina at Orlando – Friday, February 17 at 7:00 p.m.Jacksonville at South Carolina – Saturday, February 18 at 6:05 p.m.Jacksonville at South Carolina – Sunday, February 19 at 3:05 p.m.Fort Wayne at South Carolina – Wednesday, February 22 at 10:30 a.m.Worcester at South Carolina – Friday, February 24 at 7:05 p.m.
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