The South Carolina Stingrays (23-2-3-1) had another impressive effort on the defensive end Saturday night and earned their seventh shutout of the year with a 3-0 defeat of the Orlando Solar Bears (13-13-4-1) at the North Charleston Coliseum to extend their league-best point streak to 16 consecutive games.
Goaltender Logan Thompson stopped all 19 shots he faced to earn his second blank slate of the season, both of which have come against the Solar Bears. All three of South Carolina’s goals came in the third period, with forwards Jonathan Charbonneau, Andrew Cherniwchan and Mark Cooper getting credit for the tallies.
The contest was scoreless for the first 40 minutes, with SC outshooting Orlando 20-16 before the third period began.
Charbonneau was able to break the ice with his fourth strike of the year at 2:20 of the final frame when he deflected a pass by defender Matt Nuttle past Solar Bears’ goaltender Clint Windsor to make it 1-0.
Then Cherniwchan opened the game up at 7:54 of the third with his team-leading 14th goal of the year. The captain got out to the races on a 2-on-1 and let go a quick wrist shot that beat Windsor below his blocker to increase the Rays’ lead to 2-0.
With Windsor off the ice as Orlando searched for offense late, Cooper was able to score into the empty net for his 11th goal of the season. The forward was moving in on net and was tripped to the ice by a defender in desperation, but the puck rolled into the net to make it 3-0 at 19:13.
South Carolina is 12-0-3-1 since Nov. 22 and became the first ECHL team to get to 50 points in the standings this season in just 29 games.
The Rays finished with a shots-on-goal advantage of 30-19 in the game while both teams came up empty on the man-advantage (Orlando 0/4, SC 0/2). Windsor made 27 saves for the Solar Bears in a losing effort.
The Stingrays play their first game of 2020 on Friday night against the Florida Everblades at 7:05 p.m. SC will also battle the Everblades the following evening while wearing specialty Spider-Man jerseys on Marvel Super Hero Night at 6:05 p.m.