Defending Kelly Cup champion South Carolina has won its last seven games, tying the league season high set by Elmira from Oct. 16-31, to move atop the American Conference at 16-6-4. The Stingrays, who are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games, are second in the league with 36 points and a winning percentage of .692.
South Carolina, which has won its last two home games to improve to 5-4-2 at home, hosts Trenton on Friday and Saturday and Charlotte on Sunday. The Stingrays are fourth in the league on the penalty kill with 84.9 percent (118-for-139) and they are 10-1-4 in one-goal games.
Nikita Kashirsky of the Stingrays is tied for the league rookie lead with 13 goals and four game-winning goals while he is tied for fifth with 21 points in 26 games. Zach Tarkir is tied for fourth among ECHL defensemen with 12 assists and 15 points in 25 games. South Carolina’s Todd Ford is 9-4-1 while rookie teammate Braden Holtby is 7-2-3. Ford is tied for second in wins while his 877 minutes and 411 saves rank third and his goals-against average of 3.15 ranks 18th. Holtby is tied for the league lead with two shootout wins and ranks 11th with a goals-against average of 2.95.
Cincinnati has won four in a row to improve to 13-8-1 and move within one point of North Division leader Kalamazoo (13-6-2). The Cyclones, who are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games, host Reading on Saturday and Sunday. Cincinnati is second in the league with a goals-against average of 2.77 and ranks third on the penalty kill with 85.4 percent (88-for-103).
Reading has won its last three games to improve to 13-8-2 and leads the East Division with 28 points, five points ahead of Elmira (10-9-3).
Bakersfield is 6-0-2 in its last eight games and 9-1-2 in the last 12 games and continues to lead the Pacific Division with 30 points (14-6-2). The Condors, who are 10-2-0 at home, host Utah, which is 6-1-0 on the road, on Friday and Saturday.
The Condors are tied for third with a goals-against average of 3.00 while rookie Timo Pielmeier is 8-4-2 and tied for fourth in wins and ranks 16th with a goals-against average of 3.02.
Utah is 2-0-1 in its last three games and 7-2-1 in the last 10 games to improve to 14-6-1. The Grizzlies are in second place in the West Division and fourth in the league with a winning percentage of .690. Utah ranks second in the league on the power play with 24.2 percent (31-for-128) and is tied for second in the league in scoring with 4.00 goals per game and tied for third with a goals-against average of 3.00.
Ryan Kinasewich of the Grizzlies leads the ECHL with 17 goals, five game-winning goals and 16 power-play points while his 33 points tie him for first and his 11 power-play assists are tied for second. Mitch O’Keefe of Utah is 10-2-1 and leads the league in wins while his two shutouts tie him for first and his goals-against average of 2.61 ranks fourth.
Idaho continues to lead the West and the ECHL with 37 points, 18 wins and a winning percentage of .804. The Steelheads, who are 6-3-0 at home, host Ontario on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Idaho leads the league with a goals-against average of 2.39 and ranks fifth on the penalty kill with 84.3 percent (91-for-108).
Rejean Beauchemin of the Steelheads is 8-2-0 while rookie teammate Richard Bachman, who is currently called up to the American Hockey League, is 9-2-1. Bachman leads the league with a goals-against average of 2.12 while his nine wins tie him for second and his save percentage of .916 ranks fourth. Beauchemin is third in goals-against average with 2.49 and tied for fourth with eight wins. Idaho’s Evan Barlow is tied for second among ECHL rookies with five power-play goals and is tied for third with 22 points (10g-12a) in 23 games.