Stingrays Weekly Report - March 5Mar 5, 2018
After a hard-fought three-game road trip in Ohio last week, the South Carolina Stingrays are just one point away from clinching a spot in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The team’s first chance at securing their postseason berth will come Tuesday night in Greenville against the Swamp Rabbits. South Carolina came away with a split over the weekend in a two-game series with the Toledo Walleye, in addition to one point in an overtime loss to Cincinnati last Wednesday. SC has only allowed 120 total goals against this season in 55 games, which is 17 less than second-best Toledo's 137 goals allowed in 59 games played. In addition, the Stingrays own the top penalty killing unit in the league at 90.7% through 55 games.
South Carolina returns home after Tuesday’s game in Greenville to face three different opponents this weekend. Friday night’s game will see the return of the Swamp Rabbits to North Charleston for the first time since December 5, while Atlanta will be in the building Saturday evening before the weekend ends with a matchup against Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon.
STINGRAYS RECORD: 36-12-6-1
LAST WEEK: 1-1-1-0
WEDNESDAY: CINCINNATI CYCLONES 2, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 1 OT
(US Bank Arena – Cincinnati, OH)
Brandon McNally scored at 3:11 of overtime to give the Cincinnati Cyclones a 2-1 win over the South Carolina Stingrays in the two teams’ lone meeting of the regular season Wednesday night at U.S. Bank Arena. Defenseman Paul Geiger scored the only goal of the night for South Carolina during a power play in the second period, while goaltender Parker Milner recorded 17 saves in a losing effort.
FRIDAY: TOLEDO WALLEYE 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2
(Huntington Center – Toledo, OH)
The Toledo Walleye scored twice on the power play and never surrendered the lead, defeating the South Carolina Stingrays by a score of 4-2 on Friday night at the Huntington Center. Forwards Kelly Zajac and Joe Devin each scored third-period goals for the Stingrays in a comeback attempt, while Tad Kozun recorded his first professional point with an assist and Jeff Jakaitis stopped 32 shots in net for South Carolina.
SATURDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2, TOLEDO WALLEYE 1
(Huntington Center – Toledo, OH)
Kris Bindulis knocked home a rebound in front of the net to give the South Carolina Stingrays a 2-1 win over the Toledo Walleye in the final minute of overtime on Saturday night at the Huntington Center. Parker Milner saved 25 shots and was outstanding for the Stingrays to earn his 19th victory of the year while Joe Devin scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season on the power play in the first period.
Tuesday, March 6 – at Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 7 p.m. (Bon Secours Wellness Arena)
Friday, March 9 – vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)
Saturday, March 10 – vs. Atlanta Gladiators, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)
Sunday, March 11 - vs. Jacksonville Icemen, 3:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)
Goals: 17 – Joe Devin
Assists: 28 – Joe Devin
Points: 45 – Joe Devin
Plus/Minus: Plus-23 – Danny Federico
Penalty Minutes: 163 – Marcus Perrier
Shots On Goal: 153 – Joe Devin
Wins: 19 – Parker Milner
Goals Against Average: 1.93 – Parker Milner
Save Percentage: 0.930 – Parker Milner
Goaltender Parker Milner had another big week, allowing just three total goals in two games on the road. First, the Pittsburgh, Pa. native took a tough-luck loss on Wednesday in Cincinnati, allowing just two goals while making 17 saves. He then stopped 25 shots and held Toledo to just one tally on Saturday night an overtime victory, his 19th win of the year. Milner is still holding on to the top goals-against average in the league this season at 1.93. The netminder also has the top save percentage among active ECHL goaltenders at 0.930.
POWER PLAY TURNING A CORNER
The Stingrays scored power play goals in three consecutive games during last week’s Central Division road trip to Cincinnati and Toledo, turning around their man-advantage unit which has struggled at times during the 2017-18 season. First, defenseman Paul Geiger scored a power play strike on Wednesday against the Cyclones, while Kelly Zajac added a man-advantage tally in the first minute of Friday’s third period in Toledo and Joe Devin converted during a 5-on-3 opportunity in the first period of Saturday’s win. SC is 17th in the ECHL with a 16.6% conversion rate on the PP and hopes to improve its numbers down the stretch in the final month of the regular season.
ZAJAC RETURNS TO TOP FORM
Stingrays’ forward Kelly Zajac hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the lineup after missing eight games with an injury and has registered points in each of his first two games back in the lineup. Zajac assisted on the Rays’ lone goal in Wednesday’s overtime loss to Cincinnati, passing the puck to defenseman Paul Geiger for a one-timer that gave SC a lead in the second period. The Winnipeg, Man. native also scored the first goal of the game for the Stingrays in Toledo Friday night in the first minute of the third period on the power play. Zajac is third on the team in scoring this season with 37 points on 15 goals and 22 assists.
BINDULLIS’ OVERTIME DRAMATICS
Defenseman Kris Bindulis scored his second overtime game-winner of the season on Saturday night to defeat Toledo 2-1. Two of the rookie’s four career goals have come in overtime this season, with his other strike coming in Norfolk on Jan. 19. The Riga, Latvia native has now seen action in 31 ECHL contests this year while on a contract with the Washington Capitals, posting 14 points.
Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are on sale now at the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office and ticketmaster.com.
Groups of 10 or more are on sale now featuring discounted pricing and great benefits! For more information or to place an order call the Stingrays front office at 843-744-2248 or stop by 3300 W. Montague Ave. Suite A-200 during business hours.