The South Carolina Stingrays have been a model of consistency in their first 19 ECHL seasons. South Carolina has advanced to the postseason a league-record 18 times, and has captured an ECHL record three Kelly Cup titles. After a slow start to their 20th Anniversary season, the Stingrays have bounced back with a six-game winning streak, improving to 13-12-2 on the season for 28 points.
Last week, the Stingrays won each of their three games by one goal. On Friday, the Stingrays picked up a 3-2 overtime victory against Trenton, despite being outshot by a 31-17 margin. Ryan Zapolski made 29 saves, including 13 in the third period and overtime, and Damon Kipp tallied the winning goal 1:50 into the extra session. Daniel Koger (1g-2a) led the way offensively with three points while Tyler Johnson added a pair of assists.
South Carolina recorded a second straight extra-time win with a 6-5 shootout win against the Titans on Saturday. Chris Langkow’s second goal of the game tied the score and forced overtime with just under two minutes in regulation, and Koger and Johnson scored in the shootout to lift the Stingrays to the win. Johnson (2g-1a) and Matthew Pistilli (3a) each had three points in the victory.
The Stingrays ended the week with a 2-1 win at Greenville on Sunday. Hunter Bishop opened the scoring just 11 seconds into the game, and after the Road Warriors tied the score late in the first period, Kevin M. Baker scored the eventual game-winning goal midway through the second period. Zapolski once again earned the win in goal, turning aside 28 shots.
Since making his South Carolina debut on Nov. 4, Zapolski has posted a 9-4-0 record, including wins in each of his last six appearances. Zapolski leads the ECHL with a 1.57 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage and is tied for fourth with 10 wins.
Tyler McNeely leads the Stingrays this season with 22 points (7g-15a) in 27 games. Bishop leads the club with 11 goals, and is second overall with 21 points.
South Carolina hits the ice three times this week, hosting Greenville on Tuesday, visiting the Road Warriors on Friday and hosting Gwinnett on Saturday.