By Andrew Miller
The Post and Courier
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – When South Carolina coach Jason Fitzsimmons acquired Scott Cameron and Darren Lynch just before last week’s trade deadline he was hoping the two forwards would add a little scoring punch to the Stingrays struggling offense.
Thus far, Cameron and Lynch have been nothing short of a knockout for the Stingrays.
In just three games his past weekend, they combined for seven goals and six assists and helped lead the Stingrays to three straight wins. Cameron recorded the Stingrays’ first hat trick of the season in his second game in a South Carolina uniform this past Saturday night against Pensacola. Lynch followed that up with a two-goal performance in his home debut Sunday afternoon against Columbia.
“Guys want to make a good first impression, but after a trade it usually takes a while for them to settle into their roles,” Fitzsimmons said. “Scott and Darren seemed to be comfortable with our systems from the first shift they were on the ice last week against Pensacola. The problem for them is that they’ve set the bar pretty high and we’re going to expect that out of them every game.”
Cameron, a veteran with more than 300 games of pro experience, was acquired from Dayton for Stingrays all-star rookie forward Jeff Legue and winger Dominic Soucy. Lynch was involved in a three-team deal that sent rookie Ty Morris to Columbia.
“Ty and Jeff were two very promising rookies that we hated to move,” Fitzsimmons said. “But in the end, we felt like this would make us a better hockey team.”
While Fitzsimmons doesn’t anticipate a hat trick every night from Cameron and Lynch, he’s not that surprised by their early success.
“They’re not just guys we brought in to be weekend fill-ins,” Fitzsimmons said. “We brought them in here to do a job. Sometimes when you make a trade, the guys pick up for their games for a game or two because they think their jobs are on the line. But these two make our team better.”
“The thing I like about both guys is that they’ve given a great effort in every game. Scott didn’t have a lot of points for us Sunday against Columbia, but I thought that was probably his best game.”
Cameron and Lynch are not the only newcomers having an impact on the Stingrays. Rookie defenseman Scott Romfo and winger Danny O’Brien also made their presence felt over the weekend. “You never know what to expect when you bring in college guys late in the season,” Fitzsimmons said. “Scott and Danny have been phenomenal.”
Romfo, the younger brother of ex-Stingray Jeff Romfo, was originally brought in as a fill-in after defensemen Trevor Johnson and Steve Spencer were knocked out of the lineup with knee injuries.
“If there’s a guy that has really surprised us it’s Scott,” Fitzsimmons said. “We needed a defenseman just to help us out for a week or two, but Scott has earned himself a job not only for the rest of this season, but for next year as well.”
O’Brien has been used on the same line with Cameron and Lynch. “Danny works hard every shift and he’s been a perfect compliment to Scott and Darren,” Fitzsimmons said.