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Stingrays Weekly Report: April 18, 2022

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays split a pair of contests last week with the Norfolk Admirals to finish the 2021-22 campaign. Jonny Evans netted his second consecutive multi-goal game, as well as his second straight game-winning goal. Andrew Cherniwchan’s two assists on Wednesday gave him the most helpers this year while Justin Florek’s goal on Friday made him the leading scorer this season. Together, the duo earned a share at the top with 47 points apiece this year. This is Cherniwchan’s third time leading the Stingrays in points and Florek’s first time.

STINGRAYS RECORD: 28-38-6-0
LAST WEEK: 1-1-0-0

WEDNESDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 5, NORFOLK ADMIRALS 4
(Norfolk Scope Arena – Norfolk, VA)

Jonny Evans netted the game-winning goal for the second straight contest, lifting the South Carolina Stingrays over the Norfolk Admirals by a final score of 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. Evans netted his second consecutive multi-goal game and was joined by Kevin Fitzgerald’s first two-goal game of his young career. Andrew Cherniwchan tallied a goal as well to give the Stingrays a lead in the third period. Hunter Shepard continued his dominance with his seventh straight win.

FRIDAY: NORFOLK ADMIRALS 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 2
(Norfolk Scope Arena – Norfolk, VA)

In the season finale, the South Carolina Stingrays fell to the Norfolk Admirals by a final score of 4-2 at the Norfolk Scope Arena on Friday night. The Admirals jumped out to a 2-0 lead heading into the third period before the teams traded tallies in the final frame. Justin Florek netted his team-leading 22nd goal and Derek Gentile whacked home his 14th mark of the year.

STINGRAYS LEADERS
Goals: 22 – Justin Florek 
Assists: 26 –Andrew Cherniwchan
Points: 47 – Andrew Cherniwchan & Justin Florek
Plus/Minus: Plus-7 – Seamus Donohue
Penalty Minutes: 78 – Jade Miller
Shots On Goal: 234 – Justin Florek
Wins: 14 – Ryan Bednard
Goals Against Average: 2.88 – Hunter Shepard
Save Percentage: 0.917 – Hunter Shepard

TOP FIVE GOALTENDER
Despite spending nearly a cumulative three months in Hershey, Hunter Shepard made his presence felt in the Lowcountry, ranking as a top five goaltender in the ECHL in 23 appearances. Since returning for the final time on March 7th, Shepard posted a .924 save percentage and 2.66 goals against average to go along with an 8-5 record. Shepard also posted two shutouts and a career-high 43 saves on April 9th in a win against Florida.

I AM IRONMAN
Jade Miller played in only 27 games during his rooking campaign in 2020-21 but was saddled with a bigger role this year. Stepping up to the challenge, Miller appeared in all 72 games for the Stingrays this season, earning the first Ironman since Andrew Cherniwchan during the 2018-19 season. Along with the games, Miller saw a generous uptick in production, accumulating 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists), being named an Alternate Captain for parts of the season, and being relied on in crucial moments for the faceoff.

THE LITTLE VICTORIES
Since Brenden Kotyk took over as interim head coach on March 7th, the team has turned things around. The penalty kill has clicked at a rate of over nearly 90% in the last 15 games, including a perfect kill on the last 19 times shorthanded. South Carolina posted three shutouts (there was one in the first 57 games) and have outscored opponents 46-44. The team has also won seven of their last nine games to finish out the year and haven’t lost back-to-back games since March 11-13.

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