WHO: Orlando Solar Bears at South Carolina Stingrays
WHEN: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: North Charleston Coliseum
RECORDS: Orlando 2-2-0 (4 points); 3-0-1 (7 points)
TICKETS: (843) 744-2248
Four games into a 72-game season isn’t nearly enough of a sample size to make any final determinations about a team.
But there are some early signs that have South Carolina Stingrays head coach Spencer Carbery optimistic about the next five months.
South Carolina is 3-0-1 (7 points) on the young season, just a couple of points behind first place Florida in the South Division as the Stingrays take on Orlando (2-2-0, 0 points) Tuesday at the North Charleston Coliseum at 7:05 p.m.
The Stingrays have already taken three of four points from defending Kelly Cup champion Readig on the road and then thrashed South Division rival Greenville, 4-1, in their home opener on Saturday night.
While Carbery isn’t making any postseason plans just yet, he is pleased by what he’s seen so far.
“I see a lot of positives,” Carbery said. “There’s still a ton of work to be done and we’re not nearly satisfied with how well we’re playing, but so far we’re been a pretty consistent hockey team from period to period.”
The depth of the Stingrays three forward lines has been especially evident. The Stingrays are getting scoring from all three lines.
“I honestly don’t think we’ve got a first, second or third line,” Carbery said. “We’ve got three lines that on any given night can dominate for us. We’re not dependent on one line for our scoring. That’s a great luxury to have.”
It hasn’t hurt that goalie Jeff Jakaitis has started off in midseason form. He was named the ECHL Goalie of the Week last week and allowed just two goals in two games against Greenville in back-to-back games over the weekend.
“Jeff has been fantastic,” Carbery said. “In the two games up in Reading we spent a lot of time in our defensive zone. I thought Reading definitely out-chanced us. We were able to get three of four points because of the way Jeff was playing.”
Carbery said he doesn’t expect this group to get complacent.
“The guys we have want to be playing at a higher level, so they’re doing everything they can to get noticed down here,” Carbery said. “If we’ve won eight games in a row or we’ve got a guy leading the league in scoring it won’t matter. They’re working so they can get a chance in the American League and even the NHL. That’s what I really like about this group. They are not satisfied.”