South Carolina Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery is starting to see the habits of a winning team finally emerge.
Trenton Titans vs. South Carolina Stingrays
Stingrays This WeekendTrenton Titans vs. South Carolina StingraysFriday: 7:05 p.m.Saturday: 7:05 p.m.Where: North Charleston ColiseumTickets: 744-2248
It took the better part of two months, but Carbery is optimistic that the Stingrays are finally turning the corner.
The Stingrays take on Trenton in back-to-back games tonight and Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. Both games start at 7 p.m.
The Stingrays are riding a three-game winning streak, their longest of the season, and hope to extend that run this weekend against the Titans. Carbery has been encouraged by what he’s seen this week at Stingrays practice.
“We’ve talked a lot about the way we need to play in this league to be successful,” Carbery said. “I think the last five or six games we’ve started to play better, to play more consistent, and to stick to our structure. I think everyone has finally gotten on the same page and we’ve continued building on that during practice this week.”
Carbery is convinced that winning starts by creating good habits during practice, something he has pounded into the heads of his players since the first day of training camp.
“We’ve finally started to realize that we’ve got to stick to our systems for 60 minutes. Every time we step on the ice,” Carbery said. “Not for 90 percent of our shifts, not for half of our shifts. All the time, every shift.”
Carbery said the Stingrays can’t rest on their laurels of last week when they defeated Reading (3-2) and Gwinnett (2-0), two of the top teams in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference.
“It’s great that we’ve had a couple of wins against some really good teams, but there’s still a lot of work left to be done,” Carbery said. “There are a lot of areas where we need to improve on, and that’s what we concentrated on this week during practice.”
That task wasn’t made any easier as Stingrays captain Shawn Weller was called up to St. John’s of the American Hockey League. This is his second stint with the IceCaps. Weller played for the IceCaps last season.
Weller, 26, played in 24 games with the Stingrays, scoring seven goals and eight assists for 15 points. Weller, a veteran under AHL rules, has played in 291 games in the AHL over the past six seasons with Binghamton, Abbotsford, Manitoba, St. John’s and Texas.
“Shawn has been playing very well of late, and certainly he’s a guy who has proven he can play at the next level,” Carbery said. “He will certainly be missed, but it means that someone else is going to have an opportunity to step up.”