Stingrays move up in East Division standings

The South Carolina Stingrays have advanced to the postseason in 20 of their 21 ECHL seasons. After an uncharacteristically slow start to the season, the Stingrays have gone 8-2-0 in their last 10 games to 12-10-4 for 28 points, and into fourth place in the East Division. South Carolina is just one point behind Greenville and Elmira for second place, and trails division-leading Florida by seven points.


South Carolina won all three of its outings last week, beginning with a 3-1 victory over Cincinnati on Tuesday. Three different Stingrays tallied goals in the win and Adam Morrison came up big between the pipes, turning aside 35 of 36 Cyclones’ shots to record the win.


Saturday night saw the Stingrays skate away with a 2-1 shootout win against Greenville. John Mitchell, who signed with the team on Thursday, scored the only goal in regulation in his team debut, and reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Year Jeff Jakaitis stopped 26 shots in regulation and overtime, and added three saves in the shootout, to pick up the win in goal.


The Stingrays ended the week with a 6-3 win at Gwinnett on Sunday. Andrew Cherniwchan led the way offensively with three points (1g-2a) while Mitchell (1g-1a), Cody Sylvester (1g-1a) and Wayne Simpson (2a) each added two points. Morrison picked up his second win of the week with 19 saves.


South Carolina has utilized a three-man goaltending rotation this season, and Morrison, Jakaitis and Brandon Anderson seem to be hitting their stride as the team has allowed three goals or less in each of its last nine games. Jakaitis is tied for the league lead with two shutouts and is second with a 2.08 goals-against average, while Morrison is tied for fourth with a 2.21 goals-against average and is fifth with a .923 save percentage.


Simpson is the Stingrays’ leading scorer with 15 points (7g-8a) while Joe Devin (8g-6a) and Garrett Haar (3g-11a) are right behind him with 14 points each.


The Stingrays will look to keep pace in the competitive East Division, where the top six teams are separated by just nine points, when they host Orlando on Friday and Saturday.