GAME PREVIEW: SC Stingrays at Worcester Railers
The South Carolina Stingrays continue their 2022-23 campaign as they head north to Worcester, MA for the first of three games against the Worcester Railers of the North Division. South Carolina is 3-0 outside the division this year after winning all three matchups against the Norfolk Admirals.
LAST TIME OUTThe Stingrays took a 1-0 lead over the Florida Everblades last Saturday on Josh Wilkins’ 13th goal of the season near the end of the first period. Florida evened the score midway through the second period and forced overtime following a scoreless third frame. South Carolina picked up a point as the Everblades netted the game-winner with 1:37 remaining in overtime.
ALL-TIME SERIESSouth Carolina is 5-1 in six all-time battles between the two franchises since Worcester joined the ECHL during the 2017-18 campaign. The Stingrays won the first ever battle on February 9th, 2018 by a score of 4-1 at the DCU Center before winning both contests the following season and two more during the 2019-20 season. Last year the two teams faced off once on March 18th, 2022 in a 3-0 shutout victory for the Railers, their only win in the series. The teams will square off a total of three times this weekend beginning tonight.
SCOUTING THE RAILERSThe Railers started the year red-hot with nine straight wins and going 16-2-1 in the first 19 games of the year. Since then, Worcester has gone 6-15-2 and coming off three straight victories over Trois-Rivieres and Reading. The Railers are led by second-year pro, Quinn Ryan, with 34 points in 40 of 42 games this season. The former NHL pro, Bobby Butler, leads Worcester with 14 goals in 36 games this season and is one of six players with double-digit goals. A trio of goaltenders have split time in net with Henrik Tikkanen leading the way with 23 appearances.
THE LONG STRETCH AHEADThe Stingrays are in the midst of a seven-game road trip and will play 10 of 11 games away from the North Charleston Coliseum through February 17th. South Carolina’s record hangs just above .500% on the road at 9-7-2-1 following a 0-2-1 record last week to open the road trip. The Stingrays have fared well this season and are still a top team in the South Division but need to stay above .500 over the next eight games to make their way through this stretch on the road.
LEAVE JANUARY IN THE REARVIEW MIRRORThe Stingrays stayed above .500 for the month of January at 6-5-2-0 despite losing some ground in the South Division. South Carolina closed the month with four straight losses (0-3-1) and are looking to leave January in the rearview mirror. February is the busiest remaining month of the year with 13 games in 23 days. This could be a make or break month where teams get battle tested and playoff ready to start the final stretch of the regular season.
Upcoming 5-Game Schedule.South Carolina at Worcester – Saturday, February 4 at 7:05 p.m.South Carolina at Worcester – Sunday, February 5 at 3:05 p.m.South Carolina at Savannah – Thursday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m.Greenville at South Carolina – Friday, February 10 at 7:05 p.m.South Carolina at Savannah – Saturday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m.
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