Cherniwchan Returns To South CarolinaAug 9, 2018
The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with forward Andrew Cherniwchan for the 2018-19 season. Cherniwchan has played 144 regular season games for South Carolina in his professional career, spending time with the Stingrays during parts of six seasons from 2011-2017.
The Stingrays have been the only ECHL team the 29-year-old has played for in his career since first signing with the club during the second half of the 2011-12 season. Cherniwchan has scored a total of 103 points on 47 goals and 56 assists during the regular season with South Carolina and also has 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 34 postseason appearances.
“I’m looking forward to joining the Stingrays again,” Cherniwchan said. “Last year we got off to a great start so I’m hoping we can do the same thing this year and then build on it to hopefully go on a long run like we did when we made it to the finals.”
Cherniwchan had a hot start to the 2017-18 campaign and led the team with 10 goals in addition to being second in overall scoring with 19 points through his first 25 contests before signing a deal with the AHL’s Utica Comets on Dec. 29. He finished the season with the Comets, scoring 10 points (eight goals, two assists) in 39 games before suiting up for one postseason contest in the team’s first-round series against the eventual Calder Cup Champion Toronto Marlies.
“It’s hard to believe Andrew’s going on his seventh season,” said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. “He’s one of those guys who has played a lot of time in the AHL and when he’s down here he has been a difference maker for the Stingrays in the ECHL. I’m sure at some point during the year Andrew will get a call again, but for the time being, I think we’ll enjoy our time with him here. He’s a great two-way player, kills penalties, he’s not afraid to mix it up out there and he’s got some offensive capabilities that we will rely on heavily.”
While the Rays were transitioning to new head coach Spiros Anastas, Cherniwchan was able to lean on Concannon, someone he’s gotten to know really well during his career.
“I’ve known Rob since I started my pro career,” said the forward who hails from Hinton, Alberta. “We get along well and he’s easy to talk with. I’m looking forward to meeting Coach Anastas and I think he’s had some really good reviews from places he’s been in the past. The culture we have in South Carolina breeds success so I think he’ll fit in and it’s going to work out well for us.”
Two seasons ago, the native of Hinton, Alberta had 29 points in 36 games on 11 goals and 18 assists before posting 16 points in 22 playoff games during the team’s run to the Kelly Cup Finals. During 2015-16, the 5-11, 181-pound forward played in 55 games for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL), accounting for eight points (four goals, four assists). His time in the AHL has included 173 regular season games with Utica, Providence and the Springfield Falcons, scoring a total of 46 points (25 goals, 21 assists).
“It was unfortunate that I couldn’t make it back for the playoffs last season, but you never know where the game’s going to take you,” said Cherniwchan. “I love the fans in Charleston so when the opportunity comes up to play there I always jump at it.”
Before turning pro, Cherniwchan played for Northern Michigan University in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) for four seasons from 2008-2012. During his collegiate career, he scored 84 points (35 goals, 49 assists) in 146 games. In 2009-10, he helped lead the Wildcats to an NCAA Tournament appearance and a fourth-place finish in the CCHA league standings. The forward also served as an assistant captain for NMU during his senior season.
Cherniwchan is the eighth returning skater from 2017-18 and the 13th forward signed to the roster, as well as the 17th player under contract for 2018-19. More player signings are expected to be announced in the coming days and weeks.
The 26th season of South Carolina Stingrays hockey begins in Jacksonville against the Icemen on October 13. The Stingrays will open their home schedule versus Greenville on Saturday, October 20.
Season tickets are on sale now! For more information or to purchase, contact the Stingrays by phone at 843-744-2248 or visit 3300 W. Montague Ave. Suite A-200 during business hours.
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