ECHL Recap: South Carolina Stingrays vs. Toledo Walleye | 3/13/24

Bernie Walls/InsideTheRink

The Stingrays were back in the North Charleston Coliseum for a Wednesday night game to start off a long week of hockey. South Carolina took on the Toledo Walleye for their one and only meeting of the year, going against former Stingray Matt Anderson, who was with the club last season.

The first period started off with Jackson Leppard being sent to the box right off of the faceoff for a high stick, giving the Walleye an early man advantage. It wouldn’t last long as Kruse would join him for a holding the stick, putting both teams at 4-4 for a 1:24. Both teams would get two shots on goal and return to full strength.

Garet Hunt would surprisingly strike first as he scored his second goal of the year against Bednar, unassisted in the first seven minutes of play. Ryan Leibold would quickly follow the captains lead and bury one at 11 minutes, also unassisted, putting the Stingrays up by two. Riley Sawchuck would put a slapshot on Bjorklund. Alexandre Doucet would send another past Bjorklund and send both clubs back to the locker room tied at two a piece at the end of the period.

Toledo would come out with the momentum as Sawchuck would find the net again on a breakaway shot, putting the Walleye up early in the third. Sawchuck would solidify the hat trick and put Toledo up 4-2 with about 12 minutes remaining in the second period. Coach Kotyk called a timeout, replacing Bjorklund with Reid Cooper.

The Rays came out hunting for some fish in the third and had four shots on goal within the first minute and thirty seconds. Newcomer Jacob Hudson danced through traffic, letting Tyson Empey finish the job and take it home. South Carolina continued to pepper shots on Bednar, as Austin Magera landed one on him, ricocheting off the top of the skate of a diving McCourt to send it into the net, tying the game up at four a piece. With seven minutes remaining, the Stingrays continued to keep the momentum, but it was Michael Kim who would wait until the last seconds of the game to take us home and seal the deal. While this wasn’t one of the Stingray’s prettiest games, every win counts this close to playoffs.

The Stingrays will be back at home to take on the Orlando Solar Bears on Friday for their kickoff to St. Paddy’s and Saturday for their December makeup game against the Florida Everblades.

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