The South Carolina Stingrays (30-11-4-1) scored in the first three minutes of each period to earn their 30th win of the season by a score of 4-1 in their first-ever meeting with the Worcester Railers (20-20-4-2) on Friday night at the DCU Center.
Defenseman Frankie Simonelli had a three-point night with a goal and two assists, while Tim McGauley had two helpers and goaltender Parker Milner earned his 15th victory of the year with 21 saves.
Back in his home state, Steven Whitney didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard, putting the Stingrays in front 1-0 just 1:51 into the game when he found a loose rebound in front of the net and shot it by goaltender Mitch Gillam. The initial shot was taken by Tim McGauley, while Frankie Simonelli picked up the second assist on the tally, which was Whitney’s 15th of the season.
Later in the frame, Taylor Cammarata scored his ninth of the year from Joe Devin at 11:54 to make it 2-0 South Carolina. The team’s captain wound up for what looked like a slapshot at the top of the left circle in the Worcester zone but elected to pass the puck down low to Cammarata, who quickly let go a backhand shot to beat Gillam glove side.
Early in the third, Frankie Simonelli scored his eighth of the year at 2:57 on a nice setup by Hampus Gustafsson and Tim McGauley to open up a 3-0 lead for the Stingrays. McGauley entered the offensive zone on the left wing and got the puck down to Gustafsson in the slot who touched it on to Simonelli. The blueliner had plenty of room to blast a hard shot up high and into the net.
Simonelli also had a hand in the team’s fourth goal, using his powerful shot off a face-off win to get the puck to the net. This time it was redirected by Dylan Margonari and into the goal to make it 4-0. Margonari’s 11th strike of the year also had an assist from defenseman Danny Federico, who got the puck to Simonelli just inside the zone after a win on the draw by Margonari.
The Railers got on the board with their only goal of the night at 6:10 of the final frame when Jeff Kubiak scored from Tommy Kelley and Connor Doherty.
South Carolina outshot Worcester 28-22 in the game, while both teams came up empty on the power play with the Railers getting four chances and the Rays earning three. Gillam made 24 saves in a losing effort for Worcester.
The Stingrays continue their trip up north on Saturday night with a matchup in Manchester against the Monarchs at 6:00 p.m.
South Carolina returns home next Friday, February 16 to host the Jacksonville Icemen. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at the North Charleston Coliseum.