North Charleston, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays and Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Spencer Carbery announced today that the team has signed forwards Joe Pereira, Chris Higgins and defenseman Sam Lofquist and received defensemen Paul Baier, Dustin Stevenson and Garrett Mitchell from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.
Pereira, 24, begins his first professional season after completing a four-year career at Boston University. While with the Terriers, the West Haven, Connecticut, native recorded 27 goals and 34 assists for 61 points in 139 games and served as co-captain during his senior season. During his junior campaign, Pereira received the team’s Bennett McInnis Memorial Award for Spirit and was named to the Hockey East Honor Roll five times. In 2008-09, the 5-foot-10, 178-pound forward earned the Regina Eilberg Scholarship, honoring the Terriers’ top scholar-athlete. After his senior season, Pereira skated in 11 games in the American Hockey League with the Worcester Sharks and Bridgeport Sound Tigers totaling five points (2g-3a).
Higgins, 25, potted seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 21 games with the Las Vegas Wranglers last season. The Lynnfield, Mass. native began the 2010-11 year with Ritten Renon in Italy where he picked up 20 points (9g-11a) in 21 contests. Higgins also attended Boston University (2005-09) scoring 133 points (49g-84a) in 159 games.
Lofquist, 21, spent the last two seasons with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey Leaguenetting 72 points (13g-59a) in 111 games. In 2008-09, the Somerset, Wisc. product dressed for the University of Minnesota acquiring four points (1g-3a) in 35 contests. Before joining the NCAA and OHL ranks, Lofquist played for the U.S. National Under-18 Team for two seasons grabbing 20 points (12g-8a). The 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman recently attended the Minnesota Wild development camp.
Baier, 26, competed in 65 games with the Rochester Americans last season registering two goals and eight assists for 10 points. Prior to the Americans, the Summit, N.J. native spent the previous two campaigns in the AHL with the Portland Pirates and the Binghamton Senators grabbing 21 points (5g-16a) in 124 games. Before launching his professional career, the third-round selection by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft attended Brown University for four seasons totaling 28 points (5g-23a) in 125 games.
Stevenson, 22, enters his second professional campaign after appearing in 63 games with the Stingrays last season where he buried 12 points (3g-9a). Prior to turning pro, the Gull Lake, Saskatchewan native dressed for the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for four years earning 28 goals and 71 assists for 99 points in 163 games.
Mitchell, 20, recently completed his junior career with his hometown Regina Pats of the WHL (2006-11) gathering 51 goals and 61 assists for 112 points in 264 games. A sixth-round draft pick by the Washington Capitals in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Mitchell served as team captain of the Pats during his final season. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound defenseman also saw AHL action after the 2009-10 and 2010-11 WHL seasons with the Hershey Bears, appearing in three games.