(Photos by Caps Outsider) It was all about the fans Saturday night...
Stingrays Week 17 Recap: Cooling Off
Stingrays at Norfolk Admirals via Sarah Hobday
The South Carolina Stingrays made their way south, finishing off a two-week road trip before a tooth-and-nail battle at home against the Orlando Solar Bears.
To open the week, following the 1-2 weekend in Manchester, AHL Hershey sent Joey Leach back to the Rays. In addition to gaining a top defenseman, the Rays loaned forward Steven McParland to the Chicago Wolves for his first AHL call-up. In two games, McParland got an assist in the 7-3 win over the San Antonio Rampage.
Facing their nemesis from the previous year’s playoffs, the Stingrays gave up nine power plays to the Adirondack Thunder. Two power play goals were enough of a difference in the 3-2 Adirondack win.
Andrew Cherniwchan continued his trend of offensive play with his third goal of the season while John Parker put up a power play goal in the second. South Carolina went 1-for-5 on the man-advantage.
Brock Montgomery took his scoring tally up to four on the year while Stepan Falkovsky put Adirondack up for good late in the third.
Marcus Perrier, Rob Flick, and Leach gave Trevor Gillies the night off on policing the ice. The trio combined for 36 penalty minutes, with both Leach and Flick getting 10-minute misconducts.
Steven Summerhays made 24 stops while the offense in front of him managed 21 shots all game on Mason McDonald.
The Stingrays and Reading Royals traded markers in a “last goal wins” type of contest, without the overtime. Parker got that final goal, leading South Carolina to a 5-4 win.
The loss snapped a five-game win streak for Reading. Justin Crandall put up a goal and an assist, Mike Pereira scored his ninth of the year.
Domenic Monardo and Tim McGauley stepped up with multi-point nights of their own. McGauley got his third and fourth goals of the season while Monardo put in his fifth, then registered his 14th and 15th assists.
Adam Carlson and Martin Ouellete each faced 30 shots, with Carlson stopping 26 to Ouellette’s 25.
Prior to their game against the Norfolk Admirals, the Stingrays stopped by Kettler Capitals Iceplex for practice, leading to a photo op for Alex Ovechkin and a few Stingrays.
Former-Ray Frankie Simonelli buried his old buddies with a mid-slot goal in the last five seconds of regulation for a 3-2 Admirals’ win.
In six meetings this season, the Stingrays managed one win over the last-place team in the South Division. No more games will be played between the teams this season.
Continuing their hot weeks, Monardo and Parker tallied the lone Stingrays goals. Summerhays got the start against his former team, making 31 saves.
Colton Saucerman dropped gloves with John Kurtz with less than five minutes to play in regulation. Despite landing fewer punches, Saucerman got the take down on Kurtz.
The Orlando Solar Bears awaited the Stingrays upon their return to North Charleston Coliseum. Orlando needed a win to stay in third place in the South, while South Carolina could move into a tie with a regulation win.
South Carolina came out on top, 3-2, and pushed the Solar Bears into a three-game losing streak. Adam Carlson made 25 saves on 27 shots.
An Andrew Cherniwchan block led to a 3-on-1 break for the Stingrays, with Monardo’s finisher running his point streak to six games.
Kyle Shapiro sprung Chris Crane and Patrick Watling on a 2-on-0, leading to the first Solar Bears goal. Brendan Miller and Austin Block forced Carlson into making two saves shrothanded, but the third try went in for the second strike.
Patrick Gaul received a beneficial pass from Parker as he drove the net on Ryan Massa. The tip-in served as Gaul’s eighth of the year, while Kelly Zajac’s secondary assist gave him 36 helpers for the season.
Cherniwchan let a one-timer go from the blue-line, without waiting for the puck to settle on the late-third period ice. Massa missed the puck as it whizzed by his mask and into the net behind him. The Stingrays sent the crowd home happy.
In 21 home games this season, the Stingrays are 12-8-1-0.
The Stingrays have a chance to improve that record at home with four contests at the North Charleston Coliseum this week.
Valentine’s Day is Tuesday, and there is no love on the ice when the Atlanta Gladiators come to town. In the stands, the Stingrays are running a “Green, Yellow, Red Night,” along with Stingrays Happy Hour before the game, featuring hot dogs and beer for $2. The rules of the night are simple: red means “taken,” yellow means “it’s complicated,” and green means “single.” Dress accordingly.
Following their Friday night contest with the Manchester Monarchs, the Stingrays host them again on Saturday for a combined Military Appreciation Night and Pack the House Night. All seats at the Coliseum are $10, parking is free, and special military-themed uniforms will be auctioned off after the game.
The Thunder will come to town for a 3:05 p.m. start time on Sunday.
T-3rd in South Division, 49 games played, 26-20-2-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 55 points, 0.561 points percentage