North Charleston, SC –The South Carolina Stingrays (28-9-2-4) defeated the Gwinnett Gladiators (18-14-3-2) 5-4 in overtime at North Charleston Coliseum Sunday afternoon. Stingrays rookie Trevor Bruess recorded his first professional hat trick and rookie Rob Ricci netted three points (1g, 2a) in the victory.
The Stingrays started the scoring early in the opening period as Bruesslit the lamp at 2:30 for his first goal of the season. Ricci and forward Matt Scherer received assists.
Bruess continued the scoring in the second period at 2:21 knocking home a pass from Ricci between the legs of Gladiators goaltender David Brown. Scherer earned the second assist. The Gladiators cut the lead in half at 3:10 as forward Matt Caruana buried a loose puck along the left-wing post of Stingrays goaltender Parker Van Buskirk. Forward Matt Siddall and rookie defenseman Drew Paris assisted on Caruana’s seventh goal of the season. Gladiators forward Jason Lawrence tied the game at two on the power play at 19:48 from Tim Miller and Aaron Brocklehurst.
The Gladiators carried the momentum into the third period and grabbed a 3-2 lead with a power-play marker from Chris Higgins at 8:13 from Pat Galivan. Froward Matt Siddall made it a two-goal lead for the Gladiators at 14:54 from Caruana and defenseman Sam Roberts. The Stingrays responded at 15:51 when Bruess snapped a wrist shot over the blocker-side shoulder of Brown for his third goal of the afternoon. Defensemen Zach Jones and Grant Farrell registered assists. Forward Michael Dubuc completed the comeback for the Stingrays at 17:17 with a blast from the left point beating Brown over the left shoulder. Farrell and forward Spencer Carbery received assists on Dubuc’s ninth goal of the season. The game moved into overtime where Ricci netted the game-winner from defenseman Jay Cascalenda at 2:02 beating Brown with a wrist shot from the top of the left-wing circle. Brown finished the night stopping 41 of 46 Stingrays shots. Van Buskirk recorded his first win as a Stingray pushing away 22 of 26 Gladiators chances. The Gladiators finished the contest 2-for-4 on the power play while the Stingrays ended the afternoon 0-for-5.
The Stingrays welcome the Reading Royals to North Charleston Coliseum for the first time this season on Friday, January 23 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