South Carolina StingRays
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2-1-10

My, my, the time flies. Thanks to those of you who still check in here on a regular basis. I don’t get to update this as much as I’d like, but when the opportunity presents itself I certainly take advantage of it. Here are some quick hits…

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I got to thinking today about the miles Braden Holtby has traveled this season. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Oct. 3: opens the regular season with Hershey, earning a win in his first pro start
Oct. 13: assigned to South Carolina
Oct. 16: recalled to Washington, serving as backup for one game
Oct. 18: assigned to South Carolina
Oct. 30: recalled to Hershey
Nov: 4: assigned to South Carolina
Nov. 17: recalled to Hershey
Nov. 22: assigned to South Carolina
Dec. 8: recalled to Hershey
Jan. 19 & 20: participates in ECHL Skills Competition and All-Star Game in Ontario, CA
Jan. 27: recalled to Washington from Hershey
Jan. 28: assigned to Hershey
Jan. 29: recalled to Washington

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Even with the Rays’ recent woes, let’s not forget that the club went through a six-game losing streak two years ago, and went winless nine times in an 11-game stretch at one point last season. And we know how things turned out then. Just sayin’…

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I pointed this out to Hershey Bears broadcaster John Walton last week, but it’s worth repeating here: Washington (23), Hershey (19), and South Carolina (16) hold the biggest division leads in their respective leagues. If that’s not proof that this organization is loaded from top to bottom, then I don’t know what is.

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For those with deeper pockets, here’s your chance to pick up a jersey worn by Holtby in last month’s ECHL All-Star Game: http://echlauction.at.edeal.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=112839565&prmenbr=25470824&aunbr=113186275

…and for those collectors looking to stay on the cheap, some new NHL cards of former Stingrays, including James Reimer, Michal Neuvirth, Brent Henley, Jamie Fraser, and Braden Holtby.

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Sunday’s 5-3 setback in Wheeling was just SC’s second regulation loss this season when scoring three or more goals (29-2-6).

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Short article on 2004-05 Stingray Rich Peverley, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s website:

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-thrashers/peverley-returns-to-nashville-287444.html?cxtype=rss_news_128746

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The Rays, who wrap up the northern portion of their road trip this weekend in Johnstown, have gone 10-1-1 versus East Division opponents this season.

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19 different AHL teams have utilized current or former Stingrays players this season, either in a playing or coaching capacity.

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Former Ray Carlyle Lewis (2004-05) ranks fourth in the CHL with 172 penalty minutes, while one-time Rays scrapper Robin Gomez (2002-2006) places fourth in the IHL with 151 PIMs. Meanwhile, a pair of forwards who saw time in South Carolina last season, Kip Brennan (227) and Tom Maxwell (137), bookend the AHL’s top-10 in penalty minutes, respectively.

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"It's like a new pair of underwear, uncomfortably tight." – Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke on his team's cap situation after the two trades he made Sunday.

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-Joe
joe@7641.com



11-14-09

 

Been busy ‘round these parts, but I haven't forgotten about you guys and gals. Will try to check in more often. I caught both of the Rays’ games in Reading last week, and I was impressed with what I saw.  

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In case you missed it, Deryk Engelland became the latest former Stingray to make his NHL debut, registering a -1 plus/minus rating in 16:29 of action for the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Here’s a shot of the blueliner, who spent part of the 2005-06 season in SC, with the Pens on Thursday: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/3487/photos;_ylt=Av6e2yGWT5FVtoJ1fFNPC5hivLYF?slug=c0fb5fbf8507807ab550d4a1f2ec244b-getty-90953608ja011__devils_penguins

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SC neutralized 42 of 46 penalties (91.3%) on their season-long nine-game road trip, which played a big role in their successful 6-1-0-2 mark away from the North Charleston Coliseum.

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Will the Snuggie become the worst Christmas gift since the Chia Pet?

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Last weekend, Nate Kiser passed former captain Trevor Johnson for second place on the club’s all-time penalty minute leaders list. The veteran d-man currently sits at 940 PIMs, 187 behind front-runner Brett Marietti.

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Sure, he only totaled 11 points in his four-year collegiate career, but how long do you think it’ll take Zach Jones to finally get his name on the scoresheet? I wonder if there are any running bets in the Stingrays locker room…

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If you haven’t purchased it yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of “Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer,” by Bruce Boudreau and Tim Leone. Not sure if it’s available at any of the Barnes & Noble or Books A Million locations there in the Lowcountry, but it can definitely be found through any of the major online outlets. Plenty of interesting stories, as well as a number that will make you laugh out loud. Even Rick Vaive, the first head coach in Stingrays history, gets some space devoted to him in the book.

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For you hockey card collectors out there, new releases featuring one-time Rays Sean Collins , Michal Neuvirth, and Rich Peverley have hit the market.

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-Joe
joe@7641.com




10-1-09

 

Heck of a way to kick off the 2009-10 NHL season, eh? Well, probably not so much if you’re a Boston Bruins fan.

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A new Calling the Shots with Coach Cail has been posted: http://www.stingrayshockey.com/news/index.html?article_id=1140

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SC’s lineup is looking pretty solid, isn’t it? Here’s how it’s shaping up so far:

G Todd Ford

F Mick Berge
F Trent Campbell
F Spencer Carbery
F Michael Dubuc
F Jake Hauswirth
F Keith Johnson
F Nikita Kashirsky
F Dain Prewitt
F Rob Ricci
F Matt Scherer

D Josh Godfrey
D Zach Jones
D Nate Kiser
D Johann Kroll
D Lyon Messier
D Zach Tarkir
D Dylan Yeo

There’s still a goalie likely to come down from Hershey, and another defenseman signed that will join the team within the next few days.

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Former Stingray Dave Spina, who nearly made the Phoenix Coyotes’ opening night roster, received some bad news today: http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/Rampages_Spina_injured.html

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I count 9 former Stingrays here: http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2009/10/hershey_bears_nameplate_for_th.html

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One-time Rays defenseman Deryk Engelland, who was cut by the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday, he was profiled a couple of weeks back in a story by Jonathan Bombulie of the The Citizens Voice (PA): http://citizensvoice.com/sports/focused_on_defense

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Story and pic on former Rays goalie Martin Biron’s new mask: http://islanders.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=499088

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If you blinked, you may have missed my interviews this week with Zach Tarkir, Troy Mann, and Andrew Gordon.

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“Coaching is like being a king. It prepares you for nothing.” – Herb Brooks

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-Joe
joe@7641.com


9-20-09

 

Time to clear off the dust on this blog!

Has it really been two months since my last post? Where does the time go?

The air is turning a little crisper here in Central PA – where I’m visiting for the weekend – so that can only mean fall, and most importantly hockey, is getting ready to rear its beautiful head. The Hershey Bears report for camp today, then get going tomorrow morning with their first on-ice practice. A week from now, though, they’ll be wrapping up their three-game preseason slate, hosting the Norfolk Admirals at Giant Center.

It’ll be a great opportunity to catch up with some old faces, while getting the chance to meet some players who will look to help the Bears and Rays repeat as Calder and Kelly Cup champions, respectively. On paper the farm clubs for the Washington Capitals are looking pretty solid again, which hopefully will translate to another season of entertaining and memorable hockey.

Ready to see some banners drop for 2008-09, and the curtains go up for 2009-10.

-Joe
joe@7641.com



7-17-09

 

In case you missed these on the Capitals’ website, Mike Vogel caught up with a pair of 2008-09 Stingrays on Thursday, forward Michael Dubuc and defenseman Josh Godfrey, for some Q&A on Caps365.

-Joe
joe@7641.com



7-14-09

 

Saw this on Capitals Senior Writer Mike Vogel’s Dump ‘N Chase blog Monday afternoon, with Troy Mann, the former Columbia Inferno bench boss who was named Monday as the Hershey Bears new assistant coach, supplying the quotes:

“We lost to South Carolina in ’08 in the South Division final,” says Mann. “And they obviously won the Kelly Cup this year. I think that in the ECHL one of the key components in winning the Kelly Cup is that you have to have good contract players. If you look at the Kelly Cup winners in the last three or four years in the ECHL, the team that has come out on top have [had] the best contract players. It has been my opinion that in the last two years Hershey and Washington have supplied the best contract players down there and I think the results speak for themselves. It’s interesting working with these guys now. I am certainly familiar with [Josh] Godfrey and [Michael] Dubuc and [Stefan] Della Rovere; he actually played his only pro game or both pro games against Charlotte last year.

“When the schedule is structured so you play a team 16 times a year you get quite familiar. So I am really familiar with South Carolina the last four years, especially since I became a head coach three years ago.”

The entire blog post can be found here: http://boards.washingtoncaps.com/index.php?autocom=blog&blogid=59&showentry=1540

-Joe
joe@7641.com



7-13-09

 

“The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,” Mark Twain once quipped. It does seem like it’s been forever since my last update. But I do have a good excuse!

I had been piecing together a post not long after the Calder Cup Finals concluded…when my laptop crashed and burned, leaving me empty-handed.

Internet service, sayonara. Computer files, bye-bye.

So I’ve had make do with using a pink-colored Dell laptop, preferably at home and not in public where I’d likely garner a few strange looks. Hey, whatever works.

Anywho, it’s hard to believe over a month has passed since the Rays doubled-up the Alaska Aces in Game 7 during the early hours of June 6. In that time, the landscape in Stingrayland has changed dramatically. Jared Bednar earned a much-deserved American Hockey League opportunity in Abbottsford, British Columbia, taking the reigns as an assistant coach with the first-year Heat. Cail MacLean, one of the feel-good stories of this year’s playoffs as a first-time cup winner, assumed the helm as the fifth bench boss in team history.

Pierre-Luc O’Brien, auf wiedersehen. Scott Romfo, cheerio. Travis Morin, not resigned by Washington. I’m sure there will be more to come. As much as it stinks to see quality guys leave your club, you wish them the best in their future endeavors and remember their contributions, not only to the team but to the community. After all it’s the nature of the beast in minor league hockey, even more so when you’re a part of a championship roster.

Since the season came to end, I’ve relocated to Northern Virginia, about 30 minutes southwest of Washington DC, working for American Public University System. It’s a wonderful opportunity that will allow me to pursue my master’s degree at no cost, while being closer to my future in-laws and my folks back in Central PA.

I’ll still be contributing to the Rays’ website, though, so keep an eye out for press releases or any other content that’s posted throughout the offseason. I’m hoping to have something up later this week, so check back for that. 

-Joe
joe@7641.com

P.S. For you game worn jersey collectors out there, MeiGray has their annual summer sale running now through August 7. 2007-08 and older sweaters are half off, while the 2008-09 gamers are 25% off. Click for more info.



May 2009 (2 entries)

April 2009 (4 entries)

March 2009 (4 entries)

February 2009 (4 entries)

January 2009 (7 entries)

December 2008 (7 entries)

November 2008 (7 entries)

October 2008 (4 entries)

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