Johnstown, PA –The South Carolina Stingrays (11-6-1-3) defeated the Johnstown Chiefs (5-9-3-0) 5-1 Friday night at Cambria County War Memorial in the second game of a four game road trip and the first of a three-in three weekend. Stingrays rookie forward Rob Ricci pushed his point streak to four games and goaltender Braden Holtby made 45 saves.
The Stingrays started the scoring early as forward Nikita Kashirsky buried a shot under the glove of Chiefs goaltender Shane Connelly just 50 seconds into the first period. Kashirsky’s eleventh of the season was assisted by Keith Johnson and defenseman Zach Tarkir. South Carolina took a 2-0 lead at 13:20 of the opening frame with a tally from rookie Jake Hauswirth. Forward Gregg Johnson recorded the lone assist.
Johnstown entered the second period with a goalie change as Kris Mayotte stood between the pipes in place of Connelly. Connelly finished the night stopping eight of ten Stingrays shots in 20 minutes of play. Stingrays defenseman Dylan Yeo added to the Stingrays lead at 11:17 with a back-handed shot over the glove of Mayotte along the bottom of the right-wing circle for his third goal of the season. Forward Matt Fornataro tallied the only assist.
The Chiefs got on the board with a power-play goal at 2:29 of the third period from Sean Berkstresser beating Holtby over is right shoulder. Forward Connor Shields and former Gwinnett Gladiator Michael Couch notched assists. Ricci made it 4-1 with a power-play goal at 11:22 with his seventh of the season from Johnson and Tarkir. South Carolina’s Matt Fornataro completed the game scoring at 12:02 from Dain Prewitt and Hauswirth. The Stingrays finished the night 1-for-2 on the power play. Johnstown went 1-for-5. Holtby earned his fifth win of the year stopping 45 of 46 Chiefs shots while Connelly suffered the loss. Mayotte knocked aside 20 of 23 Stingrays opportunities in two periods of play.
The Stingrays travel to Toledo tomorrow, November 28, to take on the Walleye at 7:00 p.m. at Lucas County Arena. Listen to the game LIVE at www.stingrayshockey.com! The Stingrays return home Saturday, December 5 to battle the Elmira Jackals at 7:05 p.m. at North Charleston Coliseum. Saturday is Tailgate Saturday and Used Car Giveaway Night! Ticket packages and individual tickets are on sale now! Call the Stingrays front office at (843) 744-2248 for more information. For all the latest Stingrays news, visit www.stingrayshockey.com