Weekly News and Notes

Apr 4, 2016

TEAM RECORD
41-18-7-3, 92 points, 1st in South Division, 2nd in Eastern Conference

ACTIVE TEAM LEADERS:
GOALS: Stephan Vigier (24) 
ASSISTS: David Pacan (40)
POINTS: David Pacan (59)
+/-: Joey Leach (35)
WINS: Mark Dekanich (18)
GAA: Vitek Vanecek (2.09)
SV%: Mark Dekanich (.927)

THIS WEEK’S GAMES:
Wednesday, April 6 at Atlanta, 7:05 p.m.

Friday, April 8 at Norfolk at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 9 at Norfolk, 7:15 p.m.

WATCH PARTIES AT KING STREET GRILLE-NORTHWOODS:
King Street Grille-Northwoods has become the Watch Party Destination for Stingrays road games during the 2015-2016 season, including games this week. Fans 21 and up may enjoy a special offer of $3 Drafts, including Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Shocktop and Landshark during all Stingrays Watch Parties at King Street Grille. 

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS:
March 29: Atlanta at South Carolina, 4-2 Win

Kelly Zajac notched a goal and two assists, and Derek DeBlois scored in his first game back from the American Hockey League (AHL) to lead the South Carolina Stingrays to a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Gladiators last Tuesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Stingrays claimed the victory in a physical affair that saw the two teams combine for 106 penalty minutes, including 77 from South Carolina. 

April 1: Orlando at South Carolina, 2-1 Win
Patrick Gaul scored the game-winning goal with 8:18 to play to lead the South Carolina Stingrays to a 2-1 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears last Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Stingrays got 30 saves from netminder Mark Dekanich.

April 2: Orlando at South Carolina, 5-4 Overtime Loss

The Stingrays battled back from a 4-1 deficit to earn a point and force overtime, but the Orlando Solar Bears earned a 5-4 victory in the extra session last Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. Colton Saucerman scored his first professional goal in his first professional game for South Carolina and Caleb Herbert scored two goals and an assist.

PLAYOFF OUTLOOK
The South Carolina Stingrays have clinched a berth in the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs. With three games left in the regular season this week, playoff dates, opponents and times are still to be determined. However, if the post-season started today, the Stingrays would be the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference and play the Wheeling Nailers, the #7 seed. The Stingrays enter this week five points behind Eastern Conference leading Toledo. The Walleye have two games to play while the Stingrays have three. Please stay tuned to StingraysHockey.com for further playoff information.

SOUTH DIVISION TITLE ON THE LINE
The South Carolina Stingrays have opened up a four point lead over the Florida Everblades for the top spot in the South Division. The Stingrays have 92 points through 69 games while Florida has 88 points through 68 games. The Stingrays play in Atlanta Wednesday and visit Norfolk on Friday and Saturday, while Florida plays Orlando four times this week including twice at home and twice on the road.

VANECEK DOES IT AGAIN
Goaltender Vitek Vanecek was named the Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Month for March. Vanecek, a Washington Capitals prospect, had a stellar month with a 6-0-1-0 record, a 1.27 goals-against-average and a .949 save percentage. He also earned two shutouts in his seven appearances, helping the Stingrays to an 8-0-2-1 record in March. Vanecek 20, is unbeaten in regulation since January 23. This is the third time Vanecek has earned league honors, as he was previously named the ECHL Rookie of the Month for November and the CCM Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week for March 7-13.

HOT SAUCE

Defenseman Colton Saucerman’s professional debut was one to remember. Saucerman scored his first professional goal in his first professional game in Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Orlando Solar Bears. Saucerman, 23, joined the Stingrays after a four-year NCAA career at Northeastern University where he helped lead Northeastern to a Hockey East Championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Saucerman finished his NCAA season with 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 40 games from the blue line and was named to the Hockey East All-Tournament Team.

LAST TIME OUT VERSUS ATLANTA AND NORFOLK

The Stingrays will close out the regular season this week on the road. Wednesday night they travel to Atlanta to conclude the season series with the Gladiators. The Stingrays are 8-3-1-0 versus the Gladiators and won the last meeting between the two teams, 4-2, on March 29 at the North Charleston Coliseum. In that heated game, there were 106 penalty minutes. On Friday and Saturday, the Stingrays travel to Norfolk to battle the Admirals. The last time South Carolina and Norfolk met was January 30 where the Stingrays came out on top with a 6-1 win after Norfolk won the night prior, 8-2.

NHL AFFILIATE UPDATE:
Washington Capitals (55-17-6, 1st Metropolitan Division, 1st Eastern Conference)
Notes: The Capitals claimed the President's Trophy as the NHL's top regular season team. The club also recently signed goaltender Adam Carlson from Mercyhurst College to a two-year, entry-level contract. 

AHL AFFILIATE UPDATE:
Hershey Bears (39-19-5-7, 1st Atlantic Division, 3rd Eastern Conference)
Notes: The Hershey Bears became the first team in the Atlantic Division to clinch a spot in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs with a 2-1 overtime win against Providence on April 3. 

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