Stingrays surprise local high school goalie


The smiles were seen all around the locker room but Nick Schoephal’s might have been the biggest. The high school goaltender was surprised by his coach, former Stingrays’ goalie Mike Mansson & members of the Stingrays Hall of Fame with a surprise hockey scrimmage at the Carolina Ice Palace.

It was a welcome sight for Schoephal, who has had a tough summer. His big brother and biggest fan, Brian, passed away unexpectedly earlier this season. The impromptu “pro skate” was organized by Mansson, all in effort to help Nick feel better. After the skate, the teenager confirmed that Mansson’s mission was accomplished.

“It’s nice because obviously, it is my favorite sport and it’s nice to see that the professionals care,” said Nick.

Mansson said it was an easy even to organize with hockey players pouncing on the opportunity to help out a friend. “When I got word about his brother passing, I knew we had to do something not just for Nick and getting a smile on his face… but a smile on his parent’s face,” remarked Mansson.


The goalie-turned-teacher called called upon Stingrays’ Hall of Famers Rob Concannon, Dave Seitz, Jason Fitzsimmons, Matt Scherer, Nate Kiser and a few more fan favorites to help make Nick’s skate a special one.

“I know his parents have felt love from the local youth community and the Rays stepped up and all the alumni out and it was great.”


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