By Andrew Miller
Of The Post and Courier Staff
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – In six games with the South Carolina Stingrays, Carlyle Lewis has a total of six points. But Lewis’ impact on the Stingrays has been far greater than just goals and assists.
The soft-spoken Lewis has not only brought a nice scoring touch to the team, but he has added some much needed toughness to the Stingrays’ lineup.
“He’s one of the true heavyweights in our league,” Stingrays coach Jason Fitzsimmons said. “Everyone around the league respects him. Trust me, the other teams knows when he’s on the ice. The tough guys in the league are a lot more honest when he’s on the ice. He brings a dimension to the team that we didn’t have at the beginning of the year. I think he makes the little guys tougher out there.”
Lewis isn’t just a fighter. He had 21 goals last season for Columbus and 181 penalty minutes.
“He has really soft hands for a guy his size,” said Matt Reid, who has played on Lewis’ line for the last six games. “He’s skilled. I think that gets overlooked a lot of times because he’s such a physical player.”
At 6-3 and 235 pounds Lewis has given the Stingrays a physical presence in front of the net on the Stingrays’ power play. It’s no coincidence that the Stingrays’ power play has improved dramatically since Lewis’ arrival.
“You can’t move the guy when he gets in front of the net,” South Carolina Stingrays goalie Kirk Daubenspeck said. “I know because I tried. He creates a lot of traffic in front of the net.”