By Andrew Miller
The Post and Courier
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Not since his days in youth hockey has South Carolina Stingrays goalie Davis Parley played so many games in so few days.
Parley’s odyssey began early last week when he was called up to Hershey, the Stingrays’ American Hockey League affiliate. It was the first time in Parley’s four-year professional career that he had been called up to the AHL, and the Florida Panthers’ fourth-round draft pick in 2000 wanted to put his best foot forward with the Bears.
“I’ve been waiting for this chance for four years,” Parley said. “I was pretty excited when I got the call.”
Parley made the most of his opportunity, stopping 21 shots in Hershey’s 6-1 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
“Hopefully I was able to open up some eyes and get my foot in the door,” Parley said. “I hope I can get another chance up there.”
Parley boarded the Bears’ team bus for the short return trip from Philadelphia to Hershey and got back to his hotel room a little after midnight.
Parley had little chance to rest. He was up before dawn to catch a 6 a.m. flight to Beaumont, Texas, for the Stingrays’ game on Thursday night against the Texas Wildcatters.
“I got a little sleep, but not much,” Parley said.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat, Parley slept for a couple of hours and was back on the ice facing the Wildcatters, one of the top teams in the ECHL’s South Division and the organization where his professional career began.
Parley got a measure of revenge against his old team, stopping 47 of 49 shots in a 6-2 victory Thursday. The Wildcatters beat the Stingrays on Friday night, but Parley rebounded on Saturday night, stopping 42 shots in a 4-3 overtime victory.
In four games in four days, Parley compiled a 3-1 record, stopped 145 of 156 shots he faced for a .936 save percentage and had a 2.75 goals against average. Parley leads all ECHL goalies with 21 victories this season.
“Davis was phenomenal all weekend,” said Stingrays coach Jason Fitzsimmons. “He played well enough to win all four games, and he got some good air miles that he’ll be able to use in the summer. I’ve never played four games in four days. I was a little concerned that it might be too much for Davis, but he came through with flying colors.”
Parley can’t remember ever playing that much in such a short period of time.
“Maybe when I was playing in a tournament,” Parley said. “It’s been awhile.”
As a reward, Fitzsimmons gave Parley three straight days off.
“He earned it,” Fitzsimmons said. “We got four points against one of the top teams in the South Division, and we couldn’t have done it without Davis.”