ECHL: Stingrays Stay HOT at the Top of the South

4/6 in Greenville

On Thursday, the Stingrays traveled to take on their cross-state rivals, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Both teams have already clinched spots in post-season play. 

Even with three power play opportunities in the first period, South Carolina could not find the back of the net. Magera quickly changed the pace in the second period, scoring 18 seconds out of the gate against David Hrenak.  

Humtiz continues to light up the scoreboard as #21 recorded his 21st goal of the year, extending his point streak. Tyler Wall was 36 seconds away from adding another shutout on the year until Dallas Gerads was able to get past him in the third period. The Stingrays remained on top, going on to win 2-1.  

 
4/7 at the North Charleston Coliseum

On Friday, they returned home to the Coliseum to take on the Florida Everblades in a two-game series.  
Josh Wilkins got the momentum to start scoring on Cam Johnson. Matt Anderson and Max Humitz each added a goal to extend the lead in the first, giving the Stingrays a nice advantage heading into the second period. The second period was relatively quiet until Kevin O’Neil sounded the goal horn once again for the Rays.  

The Everblades decided to put Jaxon Castor between the pipes at the start of the third period. With a little less than two minutes remaining, Logan Lambdin was able to get one by Clay Stevenson, putting Florida on the board, but it would not be enough as the Rays would go on to win 4-1. 

 
4/8

WHAT. A. GAME.  

On Saturday, the South Carolina Stingrays honored the Landon Strong Foundations with a superhero night, recognizing those fighting childhood cancer and those currently battling cancer. In the first period, the Everblades struck first as Sean Josling snuck past Tyler Wall off of the face-off. The Rays had a few opportunities in the period, including 2-1 opportunities for both Jackson Leppard and Chaz Reddekopp, but neither could get past Jaxon Castor. As the period came to an end, the Rays took control of the puck, making four shot attempts in the last 45 seconds of play.  

Things started to heat up in the second period. After a high stick and cross-check were called within less than 30 seconds of each other, South Carolina went on a 5-3 advantage. Kevin O’Neil was able to capitalize, putting the Stingrays on the board, marking his 24th of the year. Humitz was recorded with the assist, extending his point streak to 10 games. Florida regained the lead on their next power play as Josling got past Tyler Wall for the second time on the night.  

John McCarron was called for a high stick towards the end of the period, giving the Rays a chance for retaliation. Almost a minute and a half into the double minor, Max Humitz was hauled into the penalty box for the 4-4 play to begin. Humitz rejoined South Carolina without any consequences, but as Florida became full strength, Michael Kim found the back of the net to even it up at two a piece.  

Humtiz continued his hot streak into the third period, giving the Rays the first lead of the game with a goal. With five minutes left in the period, Kevin O’Neil almost had a shorthanded goal but would draw a penalty in the goal crease instead. The penalty shot would later turn out to be no good as O’Neil was not able to lift it past the goaltender. Florida’s own Zach Uens would tie it up toward the end of the period to force overtime.  

Tensions started to rise as 3-3 started, sending Lukas Käble and Ryan Leibold to the penalty box for a helmet violation, but play continued until time ran out, leading the teams to a shootout. The Stingrays sent out Kevin O’Neil, Michael Kim, and Max Humitz, while Florida sent out Aston Calder, Logan Lambdin, and Sean Josling.  

O’Neil was able to redeem himself by getting past Castor in the shootout, and Max Humtiz was also able to find the back of the net for South Carolina, winning the home ice thriller 4-3.  

With this win, South Carolina records their sixth straight win, and Tyler Wall gets his 10th consecutive win between the pipes. Max Humitz continues his point streak as the regular season comes to a close, with only three matchups remaining. The Stingrays remain at the top of the South with 91 points and are looking to clinch the division.  

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