South Carolina Stingrays beat Florida Everbaldes, 3-2
For two periods it looked like the South Carolina Stingrays of October.
Stingrays vs. Gladiators
Gwinnett Gladiators at South Carolina Stingrays
When: today, 3 p.m.
Where: North Charleston Coliseum
Records: Gwinnett 11-3-1 (23 pionts); Stingrays 7-10-1 (15 points).
The one from earlier in the season that was getting dominated for long stretches, and finding ways to lose games. But a funny thing happened in the third period, the Stingrays found a way to win.
Hunter Bishop scored two goals and Daniel Koger had a goal an two assists to lead South Carolina past Florida, 3-2, Saturday night before a crowd of 3,103 at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The Stingrays improved to 7-10-1 (15 points) on the season and are tied with the Everblades (6-6-3, 15 points) for fourth place in the ECHL’s South Division.
It was a badly needed victory for the Stingrays who have won just three times in their eight games. It was a confidence boost for a team still searching for an identity.
“We knew how big this game was and we talked about that during the second intermission,” said Bishop, recorded his sixth and seventh goals of the season. “We need to turn this ship around and put a couple of wins together. It’s been pretty frustrating the last few weeks, we’ve been getting better, but haven’t seen much in the way of results.”
Stingrays head coach Spencer Carbery decided to mix up his lines and put Tyler McNeely, Bishop and Koger on a line together. The line accounted for all three goals against the Everblades.
“I thought that line were fantastic,” Carbery said. “They were really strong on the puck, they created some chances and got all of our goals. What we need now is for other guys and other lines to step up and start contributing.”
After a scoreless first and second periods, Koger, who missed last week playing for the Hungarian national hockey team, got his second goal in as many nights for the Stingrays on the power play early in the final period.
“This was the third game in three nights for Florida, so we wanted to pressure them in the third period,” Koger said. “We kept working on the power play and I was lucky enough to get a goal.”
After a sloppy turnover from the Everblades in their own zone, Bishop picked up the loose puck and beat Everblades goalie Pat Nagle to give the Stingrays a 2-0 lead. After a Matt Becca goal for Florida, Bishop pushed the lead back to two goals, 3-1, with a wicked wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle.
“We’ve been so close to scoring on shots like that all season, but nothing has been going in for us,” Bishop said. “So to finally get one was a good feeling.”
The Everblades made things interesting when Taylor Ellington scored on the power play to close the gap to 3-2 with less than five minutes left in regulation.
But Stingrays goalie Ryan Zapolski shut the door on the Everblades making four saves over the finally two minutes.
The Stingrays take on Gwinnett, the top team in the Eastern Conference today at 3 p.m. The Stingrays will try and win back-to-back games for the first time all season.
Florida 0 0 2—2
Stingrays 0 0 3—3
First Period: No goals. Penalties: Rutherford, F (elbowing), 2:16; Bruess, F (holding), 8:23; Ellington, F (cross-checking), 10:42; Kipp, SC (hooking), 12:59; Vidmar, SC (high-sticking), 17:57.
Second Period: No goals. Penalties: Cross, SC (hooking), 11:35; Randell, SC (roughing), 16:49; Brennan, F (hooking), 17:12; Bruess, F (tripping), 19:51.
Third Period: 1. SC, Koger 2 (Langkow, Vidmar), 1:50 (PP). 2. SC, Bishop 6 (Koger), 6:22. 3. F, Beca 5 (Roy, MacLean ), 8:17 (PP). 4. SC, Bishop 7 (McNeely, Koger), 9:40. 5. F, Ellington 2 (Roy, Marquardt), 15:27 (PP). Penalties: Weller, SC (roughing), 7:17; Cross, SC (elbowing), 14:32; Irwin, F (roughing), 18:51; Cross, SC (roughing), 18:51.
Shots on Goal: Stingrays 7-5-5-17; Florida: 6-12-11-29. Penalties: Stingrays 7-14; Florida 6-12. Power Play: Stingrays 1 for 5; Florida 2 for 6. Goalies: Stingrays – Ryan Zapolski (4-2-0) 29 shots, 27 saves. Florida – Pat Nagle (4-3-1) 17 shots, 14 saves. Att: 3,103.