Introduction from the new “Voice of the Stingrays”

Hello South Carolina Stingrays fans! My name is Zack Fisch and I am THRILLED to be the new “Voice of the Stingrays” and get a chance to be a member of an amazing organization. I wanted to take the time to make a blog post to introduce myself and share some news about this upcoming year.

First and foremost, I have to thank the one and only Joseph Zakrzewski for all of his help. “Joey Z” has been a great asset in getting me started during this transition. His move to the AHL was well deserved. I know he was loved in South Carolina, and I’ll do my best to fill his large shoes. No two broadcasters are alike, so I’ll be the first one to tell you I’m not Joey Z, but I will bring my own style and passion to the broadcast and that I cannot wait to call my first game on October 17. Most of all, Coach Carbery will need to find a new emergency goalie. I did play goalie growing up, but I haven’t strapped on the pads in years!

A brief background about me: I grew up in Kansas City and fell in love with hockey. I played growing up and followed the St. Louis Blues who were on TV there. I realized I wanted to be a hockey broadcaster at a young age and enrolled in a high school broadcasting program.

From there I went to St. Cloud State for college and broadcast Division-1 NCAA Hockey for the Huskies from 2008-2012 for KVSC Radio and Husky Productions TV. My experience landed me some awards and a gig out of school with the United States Hockey League (USHL) and the Dubuque (IA) Fighting Saints. I was the team’s Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for three seasons. I got to call an OT championship winning goal and a tournament in Russia, as well as become a well-rounded business professional. Dubuque gave me more than I could have ever imagined and will always have a special place in my heart, but this summer, I decided I wanted to advance my career in pro hockey.

Enter the South Carolina Stingrays. I could not have landed in a better spot than here in North Charleston. The Stingrays have a history of success on and off the ice and an amazing ownership group and staff. I have heard nothing but amazing things about the organization and the passion from the fans, both old and new, is apparent. The Charleston area is beautiful and while I have done a little sightseeing, I know I have just scratched the surface the attractions of the Lowcountry.

I look forward to meeting many of our fans and readers in the near future. I got a chance to visit the North Charleston Coliseum earlier this week, and I cannot wait to have it packed full of fans.

All of that said, here is some Stingrays news:

-Today we honor Mark Bavis, a former Stingray who passed away in the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks. Mark played in South Carolina from 1994-1996 after a strong NCAA career at Boston University. He was a scout for the Los Angeles Kings and was aboard United Airlines flight 175. More information about Mark Bavis and the Mark Bavis Leadership Foundation may be found here:

-The Stingrays made a pair of signings yesterday including forward Derek DeBlois. He is currently in Estero, Fla. (home of the ECHL’s Everblades) for the Washington Capitals Rookie Tournament which takes place Sept. 12-15.

-The other signing the Stingrays made was goalie Mark Dekanich. The veteran goalie has seven years of pro experience including a stint in the NHL with Nashville in 2010. According to this article in the Post & Courier, the Capitals organization wanted to bring in Dekanich as a mentor to 19-year-old goalie Vitek Vanecek, a 2014 2nd Round pick of the Capitals who will likely play in South Carolina this year.

-We’ll have more information on Promotional Nights soon, but I think we have some really great events in store. Stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone for reading and again, I’m thrilled to be here. I will try to post weekly on this blog and provide inside insight from the Stingrays. I only have one question for you fans…Is It October Yet?!?!

What is Next for the South Carolina Stingrays?

The 2015-16 season is officially upon us!

A little over a week has passed since we wrapped up the 2015 Kelly Cup Finals and the Stingrays office and coaching staff is in full flight towards the new campaign.

From a management perspective, this week is a gigantic step towards the new season with the annual ECHL Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the next 48 hours, the ECHL’s Board of Governors, team presidents and general managers will discuss all changes and initiatives to the league ranging from new teams joining, rule changes, CBA changes, etc. Thursday and Friday will start the Sales, Marketing and Communications meetings where we will explore new sales, promotions and media and public relations campaigns to help grow the Stingrays and ECHL brand.

A special congratulations to Account Executive Kyle Huckabee, who is a finalist for the 2014-15 ECHL Ticket Executive of the Year award. The award will be handed out Thursday morning and we will have all the updates for you on Twitter at @SCStingrays and @JoeyZStingrays!

From the hockey standpoint, the next step towards building a roster for the 2015-16 season is issuing Qualifying Offers to eight players from the Season Ending Roster. Qualifying Offers will be handed out no later than July 1st and do not need to be presented to players who have already signed for the upcoming season. As of today, three players from the Kelly Cup Finals team pursued opportunities overseas. Defenseman Michal Cajkovsky is moving closer to his native Slovakia by agreeing to join the Czech league’s HC Sparta Praha. D-man Drew MacKenzie will be nearby as he skates for Dornbirner EC in Austria. Rookie blueliner Jake Suter, who dressed in a handful of games for the Stingrays towards the end of the regular season, has committed to a team in France alongside former Stingrays forward Luke Greiner.

As June transforms into July, here are some dates to look forward to in the hockey community:

June 23-24: ECHL Board of Governors, Presidents and General Managers Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada

June 25-26: ECHL Sales, Marketing and Communications Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada

June 24: NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada

June 26: First Round of the NHL Entry Draft in Sunrise, Florida

June 27: Stingrays Annual Equipment and Merchandise Sale at the Coliseum

July 1: Deadline to submit ECHL Qualifying Offers

July 1: NHL Free Agency begins

July 2: Last day of Kelly Cup Finals game-worn jersey and puck auction

Do not miss a second of the action! 2015-16 Stingrays Ticket Plans are on sale NOW! Save money off of box receive office prices and great benefits like FREE parking, Buddy Passes, discounts off of merchandise, advanced ticket purchases to North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center events and more! Click here to see all the benefits and options!

Download the 2015-16 schedule! Opening Weekend is Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18 at the North Charleston Coliseum as the Stingrays take on the Reading Royals at 7:05 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. Download the Schedule

Become a “Fan” of the Stingrays on Facebook at and join the conversation on Twitter at Stingrays Hockey – Wanna Go?

The Second Period Belongs to the Stingrays

The Stingrays and Reading Royals have completed three games in their opening round playoff series with the Stingrays holding a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. As we look at Game 1, 2 and 3, the Stingrays have dominated the second period.

Trailing 1-0 heading into the second frame of Game 3 last night, the Stingrays lit the lamp three times to claim the lead. Down 3-0 in Game 2, the Stingrays responded two goals in the second period and in Game 1, the Rays opened the series scoring just 1:47 into middle stanza.

Through three contests, the Stingrays outscored the Royals 6-2 and lead in shots 32-14 in the second period alone.

The power play for the Stingrays has also provided an extra jump in the series, scoring two game-winning goals (Game 1 and Game 3). The man advantage currently stands fourth in the ECHL postseason operating at 21.4% (3 goals on 14 chances).

Game 4 between the two teams is tomorrow night at 7:00 at Santander Arena in Reading, PA. Game 5 is the following day, at 5:00, in the same spot. Watch all the action LIVE at Southside 17 at Tanger Outlets and listen live at!

If necessary, Game 6 and 7 will be a the North Charleston Coliseum on Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29 at 7:05 p.m.

Stingrays Audio: We Have Arrived in Reading, PA and Ready for Game 3

We are safe and sound in Reading, PA and as I write this, the team is on the ice practicing for their Game 3 bout against the Reading Royals tomorrow night at 7:00. Sadly the Stingrays TV camera (used for all the YouTube interviews) did not have an enjoyable journey and does not want to cooperate this morning. However, I was able to track down Assistant Coach Ryan Warsofsky and defensemen Drew MacKenzie and Michal Cajkovsky before the squad took the ice. What is the biggest key from all three heading into Game 3? Simple: get off to a great start in the first period.

Warsofsky Audio

Cajkovsky Audio

MacKenzie Audio

Joey Z

While You Were Sleeping, We Made Some Moves…

Late yesterday afternoon/early evening, the Stingrays made a few transactions…

Delete Joe Diamond, F recalled by Hershey (AHL), 4/19
Delete Brendan Ellis, D recalled by Worcester (AHL), 4/19
Delete Garrett Haar, D recalled by Hershey (AHL), 4/19
Delete Adam Morrison, G recalled to Providence (AHL) by Boston (NHL), 4/19

Brad Barone, G released from amateur tryout agreement

Barone backed up Jeff Jakaitis for Game 1 and 2 against the Royals at the North Charleston Coliseum after completing his senior season at Boston College.

For Diamond, Ellis, Haar and Morrision, all were not included in the Stingrays’ playoff roster due to various injuries and would not see action.

Diamond skated in 11 games with the Stingrays picking up three goals and four assists for seven points. Sadly he had to battle two upper-body injuries during the year that now have him out for the season.

Ellis, who we saw suit up for the Stingrays late last season and in the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs, arrived to the Stingrays fighting an injury and unfortunately did not see action during the 2014-15 campaign.

Haar, the Stingrays’ 2015 ECHL All-Star Game representative, recorded 16 points in 35 games.

Morrison, who enjoyed a career year and finished third in the ECHL Goaltender of the Year voting, tried to fight off a lower-body injury suffered in Greenville, but could not bounce back in time for the postseason. Before the ECHL minutes-played requirements increased, Morrison lead the league with a 1.88 goals-against average and was in the Top 5 with a .928 save percentage. He finished with a 15-5-2 record.

Sights and Sounds from Stingrays Practice – 4/20/15

After battling in Game 1 and 2 of their opening-round playoff series against the Reading Royals Friday and Saturday night at the Coliseum, the Stingrays received some much-needed rest and returned to practice Monday morning. Tomorrow, the team skates one more time on home ice before heading to Santander Arena in Reading, PA for Game 3, 4 and 5 on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Video – Scott Ford: Video – Sean Dolan: Video – Wade Epp: Video – Stingrays Playoff Hype Video:

Stingrays and Royals Take Playoff Series to Reading Tied 1-1

#2 South Carolina Stingrays vs. #3 Reading Royals
Game 1: at South Carolina 2-1 Win Highlights
Game 2: at South Carolina 4-2 Loss Highlights
Game 3: Thursday, April 23 at Reading 7:00 p.m.
Game 4: Saturday, April 25 at Reading 7:00 p.m.
*Game 5: Sunday, April 26 at Reading 5:00 p.m.
*Game 6: Tuesday, April 28 at South Carolina 7:05 p.m. Tickets
*Game 7: Wednesday, April 29 at South Carolina 7:05 p.m. Tickets
*if necessary

The Week That Was…
The South Carolina Stingrays qualified for the postseason for the eighth straight season and the 21st time in the 22-year history of the organization and kicked off their quest for an ECHL-record fourth Kelly Cup Championship last week with Game 1 and 2 of their opening-round series against the Reading Royals at the North Charleston Coliseum on Friday and Saturday night.

Game 1: East Division Semifinals – North Charleston Coliseum
The two sides established physical presences early in Game 1 and the Stingrays opened the series scoring in the second period with forward Joe Devin’s power-play goal. The Royals responded late in the same frame when defenseman Maxim Lamarche jumped into a 3-on-2 rush to even the contest. A defensive-minded third period and a high-flying first overtime period followed, but Stingrays goaltender Jeff Jakaitis and Reading keeper Connor Knapp held the 1-1 draw. Rolling towards the halfway point of second overtime, the Stingrays were awarded a power play with former Rays defenseman Brett Flemming heading to the penalty box for holding. Defenseman Frankie Simonelli capitalized on the man advantage with a one-time blast from the left-wing point to give the Stingrays a 1-0 series lead. Watch Highlights

Game 2: East Division Semifinals – North Charleston Coliseum
Frustrated with the Game 1 result, the Royals flew out of the gate in Game 2 grabbing a 3-0 lead after the first period. Defenseman Jordan Heywood found the back of the net twice and forward Brandon Alderson added his first postseason goal. The Stingrays retaliated in the middle stanza, outshooting the Royals 12-2 and picked up tallies from forwards Sean Dolan and Devin. In the third period, the Stingrays carried over the momentum, placing 12 more shots on target, but Royals forward Ryan Cruthers made in 4-2 early on to spoil the comeback. Watch Highlights

By The Numbers: 2015 Playoffs
Record: 1-1
Home: 1-1
Road: 0-0
Goals: Joe Devin (2)
Assists: Drew MacKenzie (2)
Points: Joe Devin, Sean Dolan, Drew MacKenzie (2)
Penalty Minutes: Wade Epp (4)
Power-Play Goals: Joe Devin, Frankie Simonelli (1)
Power-Play Assists: Four players tied at one
Shorthanded Goals: N/A
Shorthanded Assists: N/A
Shorthanded Points: N/A
Game-Winning Goals: Frankie Simonelli (1)
Wins: Jeff Jakaitis (1)
Goals-Against Average: Jeff Jakaitis (2.06)
Save Percentage: Jeff Jakaitis (.911)

By The Numbers: 2014-15 Regular Season
Record: 45-20-1-6, 97 points (2nd East Division)
Home: 20-11-1-4
Away: 25-9-0-2
Last 10 Games: 8-2-0-0
Streak: 1-0-0-0
Goals: Derek DeBlois (21)
Assists: Wayne Simpson, Andrew Rowe (39)
Points: Andrew Rowe (56)
Penalty Minutes: Marcus Perrier (155)
Power-Play Goals: Joe Devin (9)
Power-Play Assists: Brandon Wong (14)
Power-Play Points: Brandon Wong (19)
Shorthanded Goals: Branden Gracel*, Patrick Gaul, Braden Pimm*, Lee Moffie, Derek DeBlois (1)
Shorthanded Assists: Rob Bellamy (2)
Shorthanded Points: Rob Bellamy (2)
Game-Winning Goals: Wayne Simpson (5)
Wins: Jeff Jakaitis (26)
Goals-Against Average: Adam Morrison (1.88)
Save Percentage: Adam Morrison (.928)

*No longer with team

League Leaders:

Goaltender Jeff Jakaitis is eighth among ECHL netminders in the playoffs with a 2.08 goals-against average.

Defenseman Frankie Simonelli is tied for first among league rookies and defensemen with one power-play goal and one game-winning goal.

This Week:

South Carolina Stingrays at Reading Royals
Game 3: East Division Semifinals
Thursday, Apr. 23
7:00 p.m.
Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania
Listen Live:, ECHL.TV
Watch Live: Southside 17 at Tanger Outlets Watch Party

South Carolina Stingrays at Reading Royals
Game 4: East Division Semifinals
Saturday, Apr. 25
7:00 p.m.
Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania
Listen Live:, ECHL.TV
Watch Live: Southside 17 at Tanger Outlets Watch Party

South Carolina Stingrays at Reading Royals
Game 5: East Division Semifinals
Sunday, Apr. 26
5:00 p.m.
Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania
Listen Live:, ECHL.TV
Watch Live: Southside 17 at Tanger Outlets Watch Party

Latest Stingrays News…

Watch the Stingrays’ Road Playoff Action at Southside 17
North Charleston, S.C. – Watch South Carolina Stingrays on the road as they battle the Reading Royals in the opening round of the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs at Southside 17 at Tanger Outlets in North Charleston! Recap

Stingrays’ Comeback Falls Short in Game 2
North Charleston, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays (1-1) fell to the Reading Royals (1-1) 4-2 in Game 2 of the East Division Semifinals at the North Charleston Coliseum Saturday night, tying the best-of-seven series 1-1. Recap

Simonelli Nets Double-Overtime Winner for Stingrays in Game 1
North Charleston, S.C. – Defenseman Frankie Simonelli buried the game-winning goal 7:21 into double overtime to give the South Carolina Stingrays (1-0) a 2-1 win over the Reading Royals (0-1) in Game 1 of the East Division Semifinals at the North Charleston Coliseum Friday evening. The Stingrays lead the best-of-seven series 1-0. Recap

Playoff Tickets on Sale NOW!
North Charleston, S.C. – Individual game tickets of the South Carolina Stingrays 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs are on sale now! Tickets are available at, by calling the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office at (843) 202-2787 and all Ticketmaster outlets including