A weekend sweep at home over the Wheeling Nailers has the South Carolina Stingrays on a 3-game winning streak entering another home series against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The Rays have an overall record of 6-1-2 through their first nine games which gives them the second-best winning percentage in the ECHL at 0.778. SC’s winning percentage has them in first place in the South Division as all ECHL standings for 2020-21 are now based on winning percentage. The Stingrays have secured points in 8 of their first 9 games, including all five of their home games.
South Carolina will face Greenville for the fifth and sixth times this weekend, continuing the season series against their in-state rivals and their most common opponent. The Rays are 1-1-2 against the Swamp Rabbits so far this season, having earned four points from their first four matchups.
STINGRAYS RECORD: 6-1-2-0
LAST WEEK: 2-0-0-0
FRIDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 4, WHEELING NAILERS 2
(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)
After getting behind 2-0 in the second period, the South Carolina Stingrays scored four straight to defeat the Wheeling Nailers by a final score of 4-2 on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. Four Rays skaters had multi-point nights in the victory, as Dan DeSalvo, Andrew Cherniwchan, Zach Malatesta and Mason Morelli each had a goal and an assist. Goaltender Alex Dubeau got the start and made 25 saves for South Carolina to earn his second win of the season.
SATURDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 6, WHEELING NAILERS 3
(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)
The South Carolina Stingrays brought their brooms to Home Improvement Night and completed a sweep of the Wheeling Nailers with a 6-3 win on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. Caleb Herbert led the way offensively with a 4-point night, scoring a goal and three assists, while Dylan Steman netted two goals and both Mason Morelli and Cole Ully each had a goal and an assist.
Friday, January 15 – vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)
Saturday, January 16 – vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 6:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)
Goals: 4 – Caleb Herbert, Mason Morelli, Dylan Steman, Cole Ully,
Assists: 6 – Max Novak
Points: 9 – Caleb Herbert, Cole Ully
Plus/Minus: Plus-8 – Tariq Hammond
Penalty Minutes: 18 – Macoy Erkamps, Will Graber
Shots On Goal: 31 – Caleb Herbert
Wins: 3 – Alex Dubeau
Goals Against Average: 2.07 – Hunter Shepard
Save Percentage: 0.928 – Hunter Shepard
HERBERT’S CAREER NIGHT
For the first time in his 6-year ECHL career, forward Caleb Herbert was on the scoresheet four times in one night, earning a goal and three assists in the Rays’ victory over Wheeling on Saturday. His tally, which came late in the second period, stood up as the game-winner. The Bloomington, Minnesota native had the lone assist on Mason Morelli’s goal in the first, before adding helpers on both of Dylan Steman’s tallies in the third period. Through the Stingrays first nine games, Herbert is tied for the team lead in scoring with nine points on four goals and five assists.
Defender Zach Malatesta had a big weekend for South Carolina, suiting up for the first two home games of his career in North Charleston. The fourth year blueliner impressed on Friday night, scoring the game-winning goal and adding an assist while registering a +4 rating on his way to being named the first star of the game. Malatesta followed that performance up with a pair of assists the next night as SC secured the sweep, helping on Darien Craighead’s goal in the opening minute of the game as well as Dylan Steman’s power play goal early in the third.
DUBEAU IN A GROOVE
Stingrays goaltender Alex Dubeau has earned wins in each of the team’s last three games, helping the club match their longest winning streak of the season to date. In the back-to-back home wins over Wheeling last weekend, Dubeau turned aside 53 total shots to go along with a 2.50 goals-against average and a 0.914 save percentage. The Mascouche, Quebec native currently ranks 10th in the ECHL with an overall GAA of 2.61 after his first four appearances this season.
CRAIGHEAD GETS ON THE BOARD
Rookie forward Darien Craighead scored his first pro goal just 56 seconds into Saturday night's win. Craighead, who was appearing in his third game with South Carolina during his first season, turned pro after an excellent collegiate career at Northern Michigan University that saw him score 109 points in 153 games. As a senior last season, the Surrey, British Columbia native racked up 31 points on 15 goals and 16 assists and was named to the All-WCHA Third Team.
Tickets for all of the team’s upcoming 2020-21 home contests are on sale now via Ticketmaster.
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