Despite not playing in any game action over the last 13 days, goaltender Parker Milner managed to get the same result as his last appearance on Oct. 26 when he shut down the Norfolk Admirals. A 23-save blanking of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (5-6-0-0) gave Milner his second consecutive shutout in a 4-0 win for the South Carolina Stingrays (7-1-0-0) at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday night.
South Carolina got goals from four different skaters in their fourth straight victory with Kristofers Bindulis, Casey Bailey, Matthew Weis and Tom Parisi all posting tallies. The Stingrays stay at the top of the South Division standings and currently have the top winning percentage in the ECHL (0.875).
Milner has now held opponents scoreless for 135:37 consecutive minutes, dating back to the third period of a game two weeks ago on Oct. 25 in Norfolk. The goaltender improved his perfect record to 5-0-0 this season and leads the league with a 1.38 goals-against average. Milner’s save percentage of 0.940 is third-best in the ECHL.
Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the first period, but Bindulis put the Rays up 1-0 at 1:58 of the second with his first goal of the season with a long shot from the top of the right point. The assists went to defender Jordan Klimek and forward Tim Harrison, the first points of the season for all three skaters.
Then at 6:04 of the third, with SC on a power play, a backward Greenville pass into their own zone went right on the stick of Bailey who immediately went in alone on a breakaway. The Anchorage, Alaska native made a beautiful move to put the puck on his backhand before lifting it up high over goaltender Ryan Bednard and into the net to give South Carolina a 2-0 advantage.
With the two-goal lead, the Rays clamped down defensively for the remainder of the night. Eight shots were all that the Swamp Rabbits could muster while trailing in the third period. With Bednard at the bench and an extra attacker on for Greenville in search of a late comeback, Weis hit the empty net for his third goal of the season from Bailey and Cole Ully at 18:57 of the final frame.
Bailey is now tied for the team lead with 10 points on the year in just eight games, and also leads the club with seven goals.
South Carolina wasn’t done, however, as Tom Parisi buried a feed from Dan DeSalvo 24 seconds later at 19:21 for the last goal of the evening.
Bednard stopped 30 shots for Greenville in a losing effort. The Stingrays had the only power play goal of the contest and finished 1-for-2 on the man-advantage while holding the Swamp Rabbits to an 0-for-3 mark.
South Carolina will complete their weekend series with the Swamp Rabbits on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The Stingrays are back at home for three games in three days November 15, 16 and 17. Nov. 16 is the team’s first-ever Hockey Fights Cancer Night! Tickets for all of the team’s upcoming 2019-20 home contests are on sale now via Ticketmaster.