Goaltender Hunter Shepard stopped 34 shots to record his first career ECHL shutout in a 1-0 win for the South Carolina Stingrays (30-24-10-3) over the Wheeling Nailers (21-34-6-1) on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The win helped moved South Carolina into a tie with the Orlando Solar Bears for fourth place in the standings and the final Eastern Conference spot in the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs. SC has four games remaining on their regular season schedule.
Forward Brett Supinski scored the only goal of the night for the Rays in the final minute of the second period, pushing a rebound past goaltender Tommy Nappier after an initial breakaway chance for Caleb Herbert went off the left post. Herbert had the lone assist on Supinski’s 13th tally of the season, which came at 19:11 of the middle frame.
Shepard had double-digit saves in all three periods, with 12 in the first, 11 in the second and 11 more in the third frame to earn the ninth ECHL victory of his rookie professional campaign.
Nappier turned aside 31 shots in a losing effort for the Nailers, just the fourth ECHL appearance of his rookie year.
The Rays were 2-for-2 on the penalty kill, with both infractions coming in the first period. SC also came up empty on the man-advantage, going 0-for-2. Wheeling had a slim edge in shots-on-goal in the game, 34-32.
South Carolina will battle Wheeling once again on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum at 6:05 p.m. The Rays will finish off their 4-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Nailers at 7:05.
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