Stingrays Week 12 Recap: Road Woes

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Posted January 13, 2016

Joey Leach’s absence due to his Hershey call-up did not help in the first three games of South Carolina’s road trip. The Stingray’s representative to the ECHL Fantasy Team and plus/minus leader was missed sorely on the blue line in a weekend where the team’s losing streak reached two.

Of important note, Vitek Vanecek was also selected as the team’s Golden Goalie. He and Leach will wear special jerseys on a predetermined home game between January 22 and February 23. There are six home games for the Stingrays in that period, one each against Atlanta, Brampton, and Florida as well as three against Greenville. The MeiGray Group, the sponsor of these programs, will offer the sweaters for auction from March 3 to March 24.

Andrew Rowe’ first period tally was only the start of a 5-1 raid on the Adirondack Thunder from Friday night. Trevor Gilles fought for the first time as a Stingray against Thunder necomer Luke Curadi. Both enforcers removed their helmets before the fight, resulting in mathcing unsportsmanlike conduct minors as well. Gilles threw 12 lefts to drop Curadi to his knees before the linesmen separated them. Colin Mulvey scored twice, the first came on the power-play, to push his season total to 10 by the time the horn sounded to end the first period.

Brendan Ellis scored the second Stingray power-play goal early in the second to all but seal the Stingray victory. Dana Fraser scored the lone Thunder goal of this game and Jared Staal split two Thunder defenders before beating the pokecheck of Kent Simpson for his fourth goal of the season and the league’s highlight of the night. Mark Dekanich returned to form, saving 30 of 31 shots.

The only indication that the Rays would lose to the Thunder the next night lay in their 18 shots on goal to Adirondack’s 31. Paul Rodrigues grabbed the lone Stingray lead of the rematch when he scored shorthanded 1:45 into the game on Ken Appleby. Gunnar Hughes did the same to open the scoring in the second while Mathieu Brodeur and Michael Kirkpatrick followed suit to guarantee Adirondack’s revenge. Rodrigues struck again at 0:19 of the third to make the game close, but Appleby remained sharp the rest of the game. Kirkpatrick scored again on the empty net to end the game 4-2.

Reading and their Royals played host to South Carolina Sunday afternoon, taking care of their visitors in a 3-1 win for the homesteaders. In a game riddled with 15 minor penalties, it is no surprise that Reading’s Cam Reid and Justin Crandall got the scoring started on second period power-plays. In the third, South Carolina unleashed 20 shots on Martn Ouellette, with only Colin Mulvey piercing his armor at 10:00 exactly. With Branden Komm pulled for the extra skater, Adam Comrie hit the empty net to end the game 3-1.

NEXT WEEK

One stop in Atlanta will end this four-game road trip that South Carolina is 1-2-0-0 so far. A rare visit from the Alaska Aces follows on Saturday and Sunday. The last time the Stingrays and Aces played against each other was the 2009 Kelley Cup Final, where the Stingrays won Game 7 in Alaska.

CURRENT STANDING

36 games played, 22-12-2-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 43 points, 3rd in South Division