Gaul and Jakaitis To Be Inducted into Stingrays Hall of Fame

South Carolina Stingrays hockey
South Carolina Stingrays hockey(Live 5 News)
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 3:11 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced today that former forward Patrick Gaul and goaltender Jeff Jakaitis will be the newest members inducted into the Stingrays Hall of Fame on April 9th as part of Alumni Night presented by DASH Auction and Field Pass Hockey.

Members of the Stingrays Hall of Fame and the Stingrays organization selected Gaul and Jakaitis based on their accomplishments as players and their commitment to the Charleston community.

“If you do a quick look at the names in the Hall of Fame, there are some great players to join,” said Gaul. “To be grouped in with those names, it’s such an honor. The Stingrays and playing in Charleston was a big part of my life. I’m very appreciative to get the nod to join those guys.”

Gaul appeared in 401 games over seven seasons with the Stingrays from 2012-2019, ranking him fourth in all-time games played in Stingrays’ history. The fan favorite scored 68 goals and added 108 assists for 176 points and was named an alternate captain for his final five seasons as well as helping the Stingrays advance to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2015 and 2017. In 2015, Gaul won the Jerry Zucker Community Service Award for his work in the Lowcountry community. He was honored as the ECHL’s Eastern Conference winner of the Professional Hockey Player Association’s Heart, Hustle, Desire Award in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

“I cannot think of two guys who are more deserving than Patrick and Jeff,” said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. “Patrick was the ultimate teammate and warrior. He was one of the best penalty killers the ECHL has ever seen, often sacrificing his body to block shots. His stats paint a small picture of what Patrick meant to the Stingrays on and off the ice over his seven years in South Carolina.”

Jakaitis had an impressive career, spanning 12 seasons of professional hockey. In five seasons with the South Carolina Stingrays, he appeared in 123 games, posting a record of 76-33-12 to go along with a franchise best 2.12 goals against average and 0.924 save percentage. The native of Rochester, Minn. was named ECHL Goaltender of the Year and ECHL First All-Star Team twice. Jakaitis holds the record as a six-time ECHL Goaltender of the Month and earned another First Team All-Star nod during the 2011-12 season with the Gwinnett Gladiators.

“Knowing the tradition and the guys that are in the Hall of Fame, it’s an honor to be a part of that group,” said Jakaitis. “I’ve played for a lot of teams in my career, so I know how special the Stingrays are in the hockey world. I had a lot of great memories playing for South Carolina. It’s an honor to be a part of this group and this tradition.”

During the 2014-15 campaign, Jakaitis was instrumental in helping the Stingrays to an ECHL record 23 straight wins, leading the league with a 1.96 goals against average and guiding the team to the ECHL Kelly Cup Finals. Jakaitis’s standout performance throughout the season earned him the ECHL MVP, only the fourth goaltender to be named with this honor, joining former Stingray Ryan Zapolski on that list.

“Jeff was a game changer,” said Concannon. “He was a leader on and off the ice and loved giving back to the Charleston community. With JJ in net, the Stingrays had a chance to win every night.”

Before the contest, the Stingrays will host a meet and greet happy hour with over 45 alumni at the Grit Counter in North Charleston. Alumni attending the event includes Hall of Fame members Marty Clapton, Rob Concannon, Ed Courtenay, Trevor Johnson, Nate Kiser, Matt Scherer, Dave Seitz, and many more.

“We couldn’t be happier to be working with the Stingrays,” said David Koonce, co-founder of Field Pass Hockey. “It is an honor to be a part of this historic event in a hockey rich community.” More events and exclusive content through Dash Auction and Field Pass Hockey will take place during the week leading up to the game.