Stingrays extend winning streak to 21 games

The South Carolina Stingrays extended their ECHL record winning streak to 21 games on Saturday with a 5-4 shootout win over Cincinnati at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Goaltender Jeff Jakaitis saw his shutout streak end at an ECHL record 321:46 early in the contest as Cincinnati scored just 2:14 into the first period. Jakaitis’ streak is a minor professional hockey record and was just 10:16 shy of the modern-era pro hockey record held by Brian Boucher, who set the record with the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes in 2003-04.

For Jakaitis, it was his 13th straight win, tying the ECHL record of Roanoke’s Daniel Berthiaume, who originally set the mark in 1994-95.

The Stingrays trailed 4-3 late in the game before Caleb Herbert forced overtime with his 18th goal of the season with just 1:12 remaining in regulation. Herbert added the winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout.

It was just the second time during the streak that South Carolina went beyond regulation, and the first time that the Stingrays won in a shootout during the streak.

The Stingrays began their streak with a 7-1 win at Greenville on Feb. 7. South Carolina had been just 1-7-2 in the 10 games leading up to the first win of the streak, and was 18-18-7 on the season, sitting in sixth place in the East Division and 10 points out of a playoff spot.

Thanks to the winning streak, the Stingrays have improved their overall record to 39-18-7 for 85 points.

South Carolina has outscored its opponents 91-29 during the streak, and has won 19 of the 21 games in regulation. The Stingrays have allowed two goals or less 16 times during the streak, and have shutout their opponents six times.

The Stingrays hit the road for their next seven games, starting on Wednesday in Cincinnati. South Carolina has won an ECHL record 11 consecutive road games entering the road trip.