NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays completed the regular season in first place, clinching the South Division with wins over Savannah and Jacksonville this past Wednesday and Saturday. This week, the Stingrays open the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs with game 1 of the divisional semifinals against the Florida Everblades on Saturday.
STINGRAYS RECORD:45-22-4-1LAST WEEK: 2-1-0-0
WEDNESDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 5, SAVANNAH GHOST PIRATES 0(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)
Jarid Lukosevicius opened the scoring in his return to the Lowcountry nearly three and a half minutes into the opening period. Lukosevicius added a power play tally roughly two and a half minutes later for the 2-0 lead through the first six minutes of the contest. Ryan Leibold netted his first professional goal with under eight minutes left in the opening frame and Austin Magera concluded the period for a 4-0 lead with 4:24 left in the first period. Ryan Scarfo tallied his 11th goal of the year five minutes into the third period to finish the scoring as Tyler Wall turned back 27 shots for his third shutout in his last eight starts.
FRIDAY: GREENVILLE SWAMP RABBITS 7, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 1(Bon Secours Wellness Arena – Greenville, SC)
The Swamp Rabbits jumped out to a 1-0 lead late in the first period before netting five goals in the second frame for a 6-0 advantage heading into the final period of action. Lawton Courtnall netted the lone tally for the Stingrays at the 8:32 mark of the final frame for his ninth goal of the year. Greenville finished the scoring with a goal late in regulation to close out the Stingrays’ final road game of the regular season.
SATURDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 5, JACKSONVILLE ICEMEN 4 (SO)(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)
The Stingrays fell behind by three late in the first period before Ty Thorpe’s first professional tally got the Stingrays on the board with 37 seconds remaining in the opening stanza. Ryan Scarfo netted the lone goal of the second period to bring the Stingrays within one goal, but Jacksonville responded with their fourth marker of the game midway through the final period. Jarid Lukosevicius pulled the Rays back within a goal under four minutes later and Lawton Courtnall completed the comeback to force overtime with 4:17 left in regulation. Garin Bjorklund settled in between the pipes for his pro debut, stopping 24 shots and saving three of four shootout attempts as Andrew Cherniwchan and Max Humitz solidified the win in a shootout.
STINGRAYS REGULAR SEASON LEADERSGoals: 24 – Kevin O’NeilAssists: 41 –Josh WilkinsPoints: 62 – Josh WilkinsPlus/Minus: Plus-30 – Connor MoorePenalty Minutes: 121 – Jackson LeppardShots On Goal: 189 – Justin FlorekWins: 22 – Tyler WallGoals Against Average: 2.54 – Clay StevensonSave Percentage: 0.916 – Clay Stevenson
A HISTORIC RUNWith Saturday’s win, the Stingrays reached 45 wins for the fifth time in franchise history, surpassing the 2015-16 campaign that fell in the conference finals to the Wheeling Nailers. Out of the four teams that reached 45+ wins in the past 30 seasons, two have made it to the Kelly Cup Finals with the 1996-97 campaign winning the first Kelly Cup in Stingrays’ history. The Stingrays have put together a fantastic run with help from both sides of the ice, registering the third-lowest goals allowed in the ECHL this year while the offense posted the fourth most goals scored in their 30-year history, recording 263 tallies or 3.65 goals per game on average.
THE PARTY’S NOT OVERWinning the division is a great stepping stone for the Stingrays, but the ultimate prize is the Kelly Cup. Over the next two months, the Stingrays will embark on some of the most exciting hockey as they search for what would be a league-record fourth Kelly Cup Championship. The 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs begin with a best-of-seven series in the division semifinals against the Florida Everblades this upcoming Saturday, April 22nd and Monday, April 24th at the North Charleston Coliseum.
WALL TURNS THE DIAL TO 11Tyler Wall extended his win streak to 11 straight decisions following a 27-save shutout of the Savannah Ghost Pirates last Wednesday to complete his regular season. During this stretch, Wall posted a save percentage of 94.5% and a 1.44 goals-against average and helped the Stingrays to a 15-6 record since the start of March. Overall this year, Wall has a record of 22-10-1 with a 2.58 goals against average, the fifth-best mark in the league, and a .912 save percentage, tied for 12th in the ECHL.
Playoff Tickets On Sale Now for Games 1 and 2! Grab your tickets to the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs at Ticketmaster.
2023-24 Season ticket plans are on sale now! For more information or to purchase, contact the Stingrays by phone at 843-744-2248 or submit this form.
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