Stingrays Week 4 Recap: Free Hockey!

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Posted November 13, 2017

Joe Devin, via Sarah Hobday

The South Carolina Stingrays went 2-0-2-0 (wins-loss-overtime loss-shoutout loss) last week as they played four games in five days.

The week started with a 4-3 overtime win against the Reading Royals on Tuesday. The game was deadlocked at one after the first period. The Stingrays goal came from Steven Whitney with 11 seconds left in the first period. Assists to Kelly Zajac and Robbie Baillargeon. Zajac was playing against his brother, Nolan Zajac, for the first time in his career.

Reading would get a goal from Mark Naclerio, his second of the game, late in. the second to give the Royals a 2-1 lead after two. Travis Walsh would tie things up early in the third with assists from Andrew Cherniwchan and Danny Federico. However, about 10 minutes later, Naclerio finished off the hat trick.

With seconds to go and goaltender Jeff Jakaitis on the bench, who else but captain clutch Joe Devin would score to send the game to overtime where Cherniwchan would net the game winner. Cherniwchan, Zajac and Walsh all had multi point nights.

The two teams danced again one night later to a Stingrays 2-1 win. Defenseman Frankie Simonelli scored the game winning goal short handed with assists from Devin and Patrick Gaul. Cherniwchan would score the first tally of the game from Federico and Baillargeon. Baillargeon was up to six assists in his first seven professional games. The Stingrays penalty kill was huge in this game as they killed all six penalties. Parker Milner had 38 saves in the contest.

The Atlanta Gladiators would then come to town to visit the Stingrays in a key south division matchup. After scoring an equalizer late in the game and winning in overtime earlier in the week, the Stingrays learned how it felt as Atlanta scored in the final minute before winning it in overtime by a score of 3-2. Devin, and Nick Johnson would score the goals for the Rays as Jakaitis would make 29 saves in the loss.

The next night, Atlanta once again beat the Rays in overtime, this time by a score of 2-1. Johnny McInnis  would have the lone tally for the Rays with assists going to Zajac and Whitney. Parker Milner had 22 saves in the losing effort.

Standings: By taking points in all four games, the Stingrays maintained second place in the division with a 7-1-2-0 record , 16 points, five points behind a 10-2-0-1 Florida Everblades team, and one point ahead of both the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (7-3-1-0) and the Gladiators (7-4-0-1)

Leaders: Cherniwchan and Johnson are tied at five goals apiece, Baillargeon leads the team with eight assists, he, Devin and Whitney are tied for the team lead in points with eight, Devin leads the team with a +7, while Jakaitis has five wins, Milner now leads in goals against average at 1.46 and has a better save percentage at .952.

Injury update: The Stingrays have placed Walsh on injured reserve. Gaul has played some defense before so do not be surprised to see him be playing on the blue line.

The Week Ahead: The Stingrays open the week at 10:30 am! on Tuesday when they travel to take on last place in the division, the Jacksonville Icemen. The Rays then take on Greenville at home on Saturday (7:05) then travel to Atlanta on Sunday for a 2:05 puck drop.