GAME PREVIEW: SC Stingrays vs. Worcester Railers
February 24, 2023 | North Charleston Coliseum | 7:05 PMBroadcast Info: Watch live on FloHockey | Listen via Mixlr & Caps Radio 24/7Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:45 p.m.Complete Stingrays Game Notes
The South Carolina Stingrays continue their 2022-23 campaign tonight as they host the Worcester Railers for the first time in three years. This will be the first of a back-to-back contest for South Carolina that concludes tomorrow night against the Atlanta Gladiators.
LAST TIME OUTAfter a scoreless 40 minutes on Wednesday morning, Fort Wayne broke through for a 1-0 lead just under five minutes into the final frame. South Carolina stormed back to tie the game with under eight minutes left in regulation before Josh Wilkins netted the game-winning goal with 1:08 left on the clock. Jackson Leppard iced the game with two seconds remaining in regulation as the Stingrays beat the Komets 3-1 behind Clay Stevenson’s 33-save performance.
ALL-TIME SERIESSouth Carolina is 8-1 in nine all-time contests 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. South Carolina won the first three matchups of the year, sweeping the Railers in Worcester earlier this month on February 3rd-5th.
POWERFUL WILKINSJosh Wilkins’ late-game heroics on Wednesday resulted in his 10th goal on the man advantage this season, moving him into a third-place tie in the ECHL for power play goals scored. The fourth year pro also becomes the first Stingray since Michael Dubuc and Maxime Lacroix during the 2008-2009 season to surpass double-digit power play goals. Wilkins is having the best year of his professional career, recording 37 points on 15 goals and 22 assists in 43 contests.
STEVIE NEEDS 90+Clay Stevenson has been outstanding for South Carolina this season, posting a 15-6-3-1 record in 26 games. A tell-tale sign of Stevenson’s success has been his ability to save 90% or more of the shots he sees in his starts. Stevenson is 15-0-2-1 in games where he posts a save percentage of 90% or better and is 0-6-1 when he falls south of the 90%-mark. Stevenson rebounded on Wednesday by stopping 33 of 34 shots to earn the win in the Stingrays' first-ever Education Day victory.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKESLess than 365 days after last season ended, South Carolina has already matched the final production of last year’s team. With 23 games remaining for the team this season, the Stingrays are 29-15-4-1 for 63 points and are tied for third in the South Division with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The Stingrays are competing for a top spot in the division, entering tonight’s contest only five points back of the Jacksonville Icemen with one game in hand.
Upcoming 5-Game Schedule.Atlanta at South Carolina – Saturday, February 25 at 6:05 p.m.Atlanta at South Carolina – Friday, March 3 at 7:05 p.m.Atlanta at South Carolina – Saturday, March 4 at 6:05 p.m.Orlando at South Carolina – Sunday, March 5 at 3:05 p.m.South Carolina at Florida – Wednesday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.
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