Stingrays Surge Continues in Playoffs


The South Carolina Stingrays have been one of the most fascinating teams in hockey this season from all levels. Their incredible run from mediocre to spectacular continued this week when they advanced to the ECHL eastern conference finals.

South Carolina wasn’t even a team in contention until they surged on a 20 game win streak, partially led from the historic shutout streak of goaltender Jeff Jakaitis. The Stingrays ended up becoming playoff bound and they faced the Florida Everblades in the eastern conference semi finals.

South Carolina defeated the Everblades 5-2 to win game six of the series. They will open the eastern conference finals on the road Friday against either the Fort Wayne Komets or Toledo Walleye.

“This was one of the best games we’ve played all year,” said Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery to the Post and Courier. “It was a phenomenal performance from all three lines and our defensive group. It was a night-and-day performance from Game 5 and it came at the most crucial time of the season in the most crucial game of the season. It was a complete 60-minute effort. I’m so proud to be associated with this group of players.

“Not because we won the series, but because of the way they have responded to adversity all season. The momentum of the series had clearly shifted to Florida in Games 4 and 5, but this group responded in Game 6 with their best performance of the season.”

The Stingrays led their series 3-0 before the Everblades came back to win their next two games, the first one in triple overtime and the second one in double overtime. But the Stingrays were able to bounce back in game six, where they finally closed the series.

The game six win was on the road at Florida’s home stadium of Germain Arena in Estero, Florida. South Carolina doesn’t mind playing on the road, and if they want to advance to the Kelly Cup, they’re going to have to do it some more.

“You need your best players to be your best players in the playoffs, and that line really stepped up for us,” Carbery noted in the same Post and Courier article. “When you’re playing in a game like this, you need guys like Andrew Rowe and Wayne Simpson to step up and score, and they did. I thought all three lines were able to get some good scoring chances.”

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