The South Carolina Stingrays will begin the week in our nation’s capital with a few special events hosted by their NHL affiliate, the Washington Capitals. Prior to the team’s game on Wednesday in Norfolk, the Stingrays will attend Monday night’s Washington Capitals game against the New York Islanders at Capital One Arena and practice Tuesday afternoon at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
The Stingrays, who are in their 27th ECHL year, have shared an affiliation with the Capitals for 14 seasons (2004-12, 2014-20). Two players who have appeared with the Capitals this season have previously played for South Carolina in goaltender Braden Holtby and defender Tyler Lewington.
In addition, seven current members of Washington’s AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, have spent time in South Carolina.
“In planning out the year last summer, our coaching staff and I looked at our schedule and tried to come up with something to do as a team,” said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. “We saw that we could fit this trip in before we play Norfolk on Wednesday and the Capitals were playing at home on Monday night. We spoke to the Capitals and they said it would be a great idea, so we jumped at the opportunity.”
“It will be good to be at Capital One Arena and I feel like there’s a lot of synergy there with all three teams in the affiliation in Washington, Hershey and South Carolina. We’ll be able to see some of the folks we’ve worked with over the years in person and I hope the players enjoy it as well.”
Washington is currently leading the NHL’s Metropolitan Division with a record of 36-14-5 and 77 points in 55 games.
The Stingrays, led by Steve Bergin who became the ninth head coach in team history in April, are also currently in first place in the ECHL's South Division with a 34-10-3-1 record and 72 points. South Carolina is a three-time Kelly Cup Champion (1997, 2001, 2009) and have reached the ECHL’s postseason for 12 consecutive seasons.