Stingrays Week 16 Recap: Seven

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Posted February 15, 2016

Caleb Herbert (via the Stingrays)

With their victories this week, the South Carolina Stingrays stretched their consecutive games-with-a-point streak to seven. In the process, the Lowcountry’s own climbed to second place in the South Division.

The Rays began their four-game road trip in Independence, Missouri with the runaway leaders of the Western Conference. Tyler Barnes struck first for the Mavericks and Stephan Vigier responded for the Stingrays to end to the first tied at one a piece. Matt Finn beat Stingrays starter Mark Dekanich early, giving the Mavericks some breathing room to open the second. Joe Devin beat Stephon Williams on a late power play to, once, again, tie the game before the intermission.

Dekanich and the Rays defense shut off the Mavericks’ attack, limiting them to four shots in the third period. Jared Staal put the visitors in front at 5:26 of the final period and Wade Epp added insurance with an empty-netter at 19:16. This game also holds the distinction as the only one of the week to not feature a fighting major.

Trevor Gillies, assisting on Staal’s game-winner against Missouri, became a popular customer at each of the next three arenas the Stingrays traveled to. Each fight happened in the first period.

Joey Leach returned to the Stingrays in time for a trip to Tulsa to do battle with the Oilers on Wednesday. Axel Blomqvist beat Vitek Vanecek in the first and Brett Cameron slipped one past Kevin Carr in the second. Despite 14 Stingrays shots in the third period, 3-on-3 overtime never got started as the Oilers opened the extra frame on the power play. The man-advantage lasted long enough for Connor Kucera to win it for the home team. Each team committed 17 minutes worth of penalties.

Brendan Ellis tallied early and Landon Oslanski (PP, 5-on-3) did the same in the first period of a “Who’s in the box now?” type of game between the Stingrays and Wichita Thunder. Caleb Herbert returned from his recall in Hershey to score twice in the second period, allowing the Rays to pull away with the game. David Pacan and Cameron also scored to win the game for the visitors 5-1.

The Lake Erie Monsters returned Derek DeBlois to the Rays in time for the final game of the road trip Saturday night in Wichita. He did not feature in any of the scoring, but did receive two of the 59 PIMs against the team over the course of the game; Gillies, Leach, and Epp all fought once. Add on the 71 PIMs taken by Wichita and the game featured a combined 120 PIMs.

Kenton Miller got the home team on the board first, but Cameron and Devin (PP) canceled out the home team by the end of twenty minutes. Austin Fyten scored twice, once even strength and once short handed, in the second to lead the Rays to a 4-1 win and weekend sweep of their hosts. Vanecek’s 21 saves improved him to a 8-7-3-1 record this season.

NEXT WEEK

After playing host to Greenville for a Tuesday night feature, the Swamp Rabbits will welcome the Stingrays on Friday and Saturday. The teams will finish the week in North Charleston for a Sunday matinee.

CURRENT STANDING

49 games played, 27-16-4-2 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 60 points, 2nd in South Division