Stingrays slay Beast 5-1

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - Parker Milner stopped 45 shots and five different players scored goals as the South Carolina Stingrays (35-11-5-1) completed a weekend sweep of the Brampton Beast (20-25-5-3) Saturday on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Night in front of 7,497 fans at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Four Stingrays skaters had multi-point efforts in the game including team captain Joe Devin, who had a goal and an assist to reach a new career-high in scoring with 43 points on the season. Tim McGauley and Paul Geiger also had a goal and an assist, while Steven Whitney added two assists.

South Carolina opened the scoring on Geiger's seventh goal of the season at 10:53 of the first period. Devin won an offensive zone face-off to Geiger, who had plenty of space to let go of a shot that beat Brampton netminder Will King up high and gave the Rays a 1-0 advantage.

The Beast evened things up at 1-1 on a goal by Chris Leveille at 18:07 of the opening period, his 14th tally of the year. But that was the only puck to get by Milner in the game, who was outstanding once again for South Carolina and earned his 18th victory of the season.

Milner is now the ECHL leader in goals-against average with a mark of 1.98 this season through 24 games. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native is also third in the league in save percentage at 0.929.

After the first period, Brampton had a 20-9 edge in shots on goal, but the Stingrays responded and played a much better second frame, scoring two goals in the process.

Tim McGauley put SC in front for the second time with his 13th goal of the year on a wrist shot at the side of the net that got past King at 1:29 of the middle period. Assists on the strike were credited to Geiger and Steven Whitney and the Stingrays led 2-1.

Then Devin redirected a shot by Kris Bindulis into the top of the net to give the Rays a 3-1 lead at 10:33 of the middle period. Devin is now tied for the team lead with 15 goals on the year.

South Carolina scored two more in the third period to seal the win. Defenseman Mike Chen made it 4-1 with his first ECHL goal in his third game with the Stingrays, taking a pass from Whitney in the slot and shooting the puck to the upper right corner of the net at 9:50 of the third period. McGauley had brought the puck into the offensive zone and picked up the second assist on the goal.

Forward Nick Roberto capped off the scoring by securing an empty net goal at 18:43 of the third from Matt Salhany and Danny Federico. Roberto now has four tallies during his rookie season.

King made 21 saves in the loss for Brampton, as the Beast outshot South Carolina 46-26 in the contest. Neither team converted on the power play, with Brampton finishing 0-for-2 while the Stingrays ended at 0-for-4.

The Stingrays now have 76 points in the ECHL standings and have moved within two points of the Florida Everblades for first in the South Division and the league.

South Carolina now departs for a three-game week on the road starting in Cincinnati against the Cyclones on Wednesday night at 7:35 p.m. The squad returns to North Charleston on March 9 to take on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:05.

-per South Carolina Stingrays