Stingrays Agree To Terms With Ohio State's Luke StorkAug 1, 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 Luke Stork for the 2018-19 season. The 23-year-old attacker will begin his rookie professional season in North Charleston after a four-year career at Ohio State University from 2014-18 where he helped lead the Buckeyes to a Frozen Four appearance in April.
“Once I heard from my agent that the Stingrays were pretty interested in me I was jacked up about it and couldn’t wait to get there if I had the opportunity,” said Stork. “I’m excited to get down to North Charleston and meet the team, start connecting and get the season rolling.”
Stork had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 39 games as a junior in 2016-17 and helped the school to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in eight years. He then added eight assists in 41 contests during 2017-18 as an alternate captain and senior leader to take the squad one step further to their second-ever Frozen Four. It marked a big turnaround for the Buckeye program, which had a losing record and a bottom half finish in the Big Ten during Stork’s first two campaigns.
“My first two years we weren’t the greatest team in college hockey by any stretch,” Stork said. “It was kind of like guys hadn’t bought in, but then fast forward to the last two years that I had there, it was just a different culture and atmosphere. All the guys wanted to pitch in and get to that end goal of making a Frozen Four and winning. We came close, and I just think it taught me a lot about buying in to what the program is offering and to help each other out, be a teammate and push for the same goal.”
The Pittsburgh, Pa. native was in the lineup for every game during his final two seasons, a total of 80 consecutive appearances. He was also chosen for the team’s Unsung Player Award in a vote of his teammates after the 2016-17 campaign.
“I like to think I’m a high-pace forward,” Stork said. “I like to use my speed; I like to hit people. That’s one of my favorite things is being physical down low, wherever I can use my body to gain an advantage, get to the net and get some open chances.”
Measuring six-feet tall and 189 pounds, Stork completed his time at Ohio State with a total of 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists) in 143 games. Before attending school, he spent two seasons with the Youngstown Phantoms in the United States Hockey League (USHL), scoring 57 points on 28 goals and 27 assists while suiting up for 126 games.
“In the USHL we were playing 60 games; then getting to college it was such a change of pace to go down to 32 and now in the ECHL it’s a lot more than that,” Stork said. “It’s going to be something I’ll have to be mentally prepared for and I’ve just been hitting the weights like always to train and get my body physically ready as well.”
Stork becomes the 11th forward and 14th skater overall to sign with South Carolina 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 vs. 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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Photo Credit: Ric Kruszynski