It’s quite difficult to get one shutout in a game. Everything has to go right, from being in position for every shot, not having your teammates screen you when they try to block a shot and much more.
But for South Carolina Stingrays goalie Jeff Jakaitis, he’s been perfect for quite a long time. The ECHL goalie last allowed a goal 3:01 into the first period of a 5-1 win against Gwinnett on March 6. Since then, he’s gone a league-record 319:32 without allowing the other team to score.
During his streak, he’s recorded four straight shutouts and the Stingrays have won 20 straight games. Jakaitis is closing in on the shutout streak record in professional hockey, when Brian Boucher went 332:01 without allowing a goal for the Coyotes in 2003-04.
Jakaitis played college hockey at Lake Superior State, where he was named to the All-CCHA team in 2006 and 2007. He’s never played in the NHL, but he’s mostly played in the ECHL and CHL except for 11 games in the AHL among four different teams and spending the 2009-10 season in Italy.
In last nights game against Indy Fuel, he made 35 saves as the Stingrays won 4-0. For the 31-year-old, it was his 22nd career shutout, placing him three behind ECHL career leader Marc Magliarditi.
In winning 20 games in a row, the Stingrays are just the second professional team to win 20-straight. The first was the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals in 2011-12, who fired off 28 straight wins to finish the regular season.
Despite the streak, the Stingrays only stand fifth in the Eastern Conference. In the East Division, they trail leaders Florida by seven points with the Everblades having two games in hand as they’ve won nine in a row themselves. The two teams don’t meet again until April 4 in Florida.
The Stingrays play tonight at home vs Cincinnati.