North Charleston, SC –The South Carolina Stingrays (25-9-2-4) gave up three power-play goals and fell 6-2 to the Gwinnett Gladiators (17-13-2-2) in front of 3,924 at North Charleston Coliseum Sunday night. The Stingrays prepare to host the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday for a three-in-three home weekend.
The Gladiators started the scoring for the third straight night and took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Gladiators defenseman Aaron Brocklehurst found the twine at 11:45 of the first period with a wrist shot from between the faceoff circles beating Stingrays goaltender Parker Van Buskirk low stick-side. Forwards Matt Francis and Michael Forney received assists on Brocklehurt’s sixth goal of the season. The Stingrays tied the game at one with a blast from defenseman Dylan Yeo at 15:10 from Gregg Johnson and Michael Dubuc. Gwinnett reclaimed the lead on the power play at 17:07 from Matt Siddall. Rookie Drew Paris and forward Adam Berti recorded assists. The Stingrays outshot the Gladiators 19 to 6 after 20 minutes of play.
The Gladiators continued the scoring early in the second period as Berti lit the lamp at 5:10 from Tim Miler. Nearly two minutes later Siddall gave the Gladiators a 4-1 lead at 7:27 from Berti. Gladiators’ Brocklehurst added his second goal of the game on the power play at 16:50 tipping in a pass from forward Scott Mifsud over the block-side shoulder of Van Buskirk. Berti registered the second assist. The Stingrays made it 5-2 at 17:45 thanks to defenseman Josh Godfrey’s wrist shot from the right point beating Gladiators goaltender Danny Taylor high glove-side. Rookies Trevor Bruess and Rob Ricci netted helpers on Godfrey’s fifth goal of the season.
The Stingrays started the third period with a goaltending change as Van Buskirk was pulled in favor of Shane Connelly. Van Buskirk eventually suffered the loss stopping 11 of 16 Gladiators shots in 40 minutes of play. The Gladiators added one more power-play goal in the third period at 3:47 as Miller knocked in a loose puck over the right leg of Connelly from Francis and rookie Chris Higgins. Connelly ended the third period making 12 saves on 13 Gladiator chances. Taylor earned his ninth win of the season and second straight over the Stingrays pushing away 37 of 39 scoring opportunities. The Stingrays ended the contest 0-for-4 on the power play while the Gladiators finished 3-for-5.
The Stingrays welcome the Kalamazoo Wings to North Charleston Coliseum for the first time on Friday, January 15 at 7:05 p.m. Friday is $2 Beer Night at the Coliseum, but be sure to arrive early because the beer special only lasts until the end of the first period. Call the Stingrays front office at (843) 744-2248 for more information. For all the latest Stingrays news, visit www.stingrayshockey.com