Rays welcoming back injured trio
South Carolina Stingrays coach Cail MacLean isn't expected to sign any college players for this weekend's two-game series with the Florida Everblades.
But that doesn't mean the Stingrays won't have a couple of new faces in their lineup. Well, new, old faces.
Spencer Carbery, Matt Scherer and Nate Kiser are expected to return to the lineup this weekend against the Everblades.
Carbery (shoulder), Scherer (groin), Kiser (concussion) have been out of the lineup with injuries.
"It'll be nice to get all three of them back into the lineup," MacLean said. "They're going to bring a lot of energy to the lineup. We've really missed their leadership in the locker room and on the ice."
MacLean said he's still trying to get a college player or two in the lineup before the end of the regular season.
"I've been working the phones pretty hard the last couple of weeks," MacLean said. "The college seasons are coming to a close, so I would expect to get a couple of guys in here in the next week."
Stingrays defenseman Nick Klaren was released on Wednesday.
In 18 games with the Stingrays, Klaren had five points on a goal and four assists.
Klaren is expected to return to the Mississippi Surge, of the Southern Professional Hockey League, for their playoffs.
"We wanted to give Nick a chance to get back to Mississippi so he could be on their playoff roster," MacLean said.
Ford could be in Portland for a while
When Todd Ford returned to the Stingrays last weekend from the AHL's Texas Stars, MacLean thought his stay in the Lowcountry might be a short one.
He didn't know how right he was.
After starting back-to-back games against Florida this past weekend, Ford was called up to the American Hockey League's Portland Pirates.
Ford could be up for there for a month as Pirates starter Jhonas Enroth is expected to be out for at least three weeks with a high ankle sprain.
The workload shouldn't be too difficult on Shane Connelly down the stretch. The Stingrays have six games left in the regular season.
"We don't have a lot of at the end of this month, so that's really the only good news," MacLean said. "Shane is used to getting a lot of ice time, so I feel confident we won't overwork him."
Connelly is 11-5-4 with a 2.68 goals against average and a .907 save percentage since joining the Stingrays.
One deal before deadline
The ECHL trade deadline came and went last Friday with just one deal involving the Stingrays.
The Stingrays traded back-up goalie Parker Van Buskirk to Florida for veteran forward Chris Capraro.
The Stingrays had three goalies when Van Buskirk was traded to the Everblades.
"You don't want to carry three goalies on your roster for very long and we had a chance to pick up Chris, who has the potential of being an impact player," MacLean said.
Capraro, who has played for Wheeling and Florida this season, had his best season with Charlotte when he scored 24 goals during the 2007-08 season.