Game Preview: Stingrays vs. Nailers, January 8 at 7:05 PM
GAME PREVIEW: Wheeling Nailers vs. South Carolina Stingrays
Friday, January 8, 2021 at the North Charleston Coliseum at 7:05 PM
Broadcast Info: Watch live on FloHockey | Listen via Caps Radio 24/7 & Mixlr
About Today's Game: The South Carolina Stingrays meet the Wheeling Nailers for the first time in over two years Friday night, kicking off a weekend series between the storied ECHL franchises. The Rays are coming off their fourth victory of the season on Saturday night in Jacksonville, while the Nailers began their week-long trip to the state of South Carolina on Wednesday with an overtime win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Through seven games, the Stingrays are in second place in the South Division with 10 points in the standings, while Wheeling is 2-3-3 in their first eight contests. SC has continued to shine defensively, allowing just 2.14 goals per game which ranks second best in the ECHL. The Stingrays finished as the best defensive team in the league in 2019-20, allowing only 2.37 goals per game. The two teams have both struggled on the power play, with Wheeling converting on 12.1% of their opportunities while the Rays have just one PP goal so far this season. SC has fared much better on the penalty kill however, posting a success rate of 86.1%.
Scouting the Nailers: Wheeling has a record of 2-3-3-0 after their first eight games of the 2020-21 season. Five of their matchups have come against the only other team playing in the Central Division, the Indy Fuel, from which the Nailers have earned only one win and two overtime losses. A retooled roster has many more offensive weapons for Wheeling this season, led by forwards Michael Joly (2g, 4a) and Michael Pelech (5a). Rookie attackers Felix Robert (5g, 1a) and Matt Alfaro (3g, 3a) are tied for the team lead in scoring with Joly. On the blue line, former Greenville defenders Chad Duchesne and Dylan MacPherson have each appeared in all of the club's eight games, while rookie Shane Kuzmeski leads the back end with three points (1g, 2a) in just four contests. In net, goaltender Shane Starrett has played seven games already this season which has him leading the ECHL in minutes played (437). He also ranks fourth in saves with 187 and has a goals-against average of 3.30 along with a save percentage at 0.886.
Upcoming Home Games
Friday, January 8, vs. Wheeling, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, January 9, vs. Wheeling, 6:05 p.m.
Friday, January 15, vs. Greenville, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, January 16, vs. Greenville, 6:05 p.m.
Monday, January 18, vs. Jacksonville, 1:05 p.m.
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