Walleye can’t solve S. Carolina, 6-game win streak stopped


CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Walleye saw their six-game winning streak snapped on Saturday night as they were shutout 3-0 by the South Carolina Stingrays.

Toledo outshot the home team 29-23 but Walleye goalie Kent Simpson gave up a goal in each of the three periods.

Toledo (27-18-4) also fell out of first place in the ECHL North Division and is now 14-11-1 on the road.

Simpson made 20 saves and his record is now 13-10-3.

The Stingrays' Matt Beca jumped on a rebound at 17:51 of the first to beat Simpson for a power-play goal.

South Carolina got a break in the second period when Hunter Bishop threw a pass across the Toledo zone. The puck deflected off of the leg of Walleye defenseman Phil Oreskovic and past Simpson at 1:11 of the period to give the Stingrays a 2-0 lead.

Phil Mangan made it 3-0 at 7:21 of the third when he tipped a shot past Simpson.

The Walleye outshot South Carolina 11-4 in the third but could not crack goalie Jeff Jakaitis, who finished with 30 saves to get his first shutout.

“This is a very difficult place to play,” said Walleye coach Nick Vitucci. “Like us, South Carolina is very strong between the pipes and defensively, and we saw that tonight.

"This was the hardest stretch of the year and I am very proud of how hard this team played during it.”

The Walleye went 0 of 3 on the power play.

Andrej Nestrasil finished with a team-high four shots.

Mangan and Bishop each had a goal and an assist for South Carolina (25-23-4).

Oreskovic got into a fight with Art Bidlevskii with 10 seconds left in the game.

Toledo is 0-2-0 against the Stingrays this season.

Simpson came into the game ranked eighth in the ECHL with a 2.45 goals-against average. He had won six in a row.

The Stingrays came in ranked sixth in goals-against average (2.73).

Toledo completed the first leg of a four-game road trip. The Walleye play at Evansville on Wednesday and at Kalamazoo on Friday. They return home against Kalamazoo on Saturday and Fort Wayne on Sunday.