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Gladiators Upend Stingrays 6-5 In Shootout

By: Mike Kelly
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Gwinnett Gladiators scored four goals in the second period and rookie goaltender Dave Caruso made 47 saves in a 6-5 shootout win over the South Carolina Stingrays, who had their winless streak at home extended to a team record six games (0-4-2), before 6,105 fans at the North Charleston Coliseum.

“We played well enough to get two points,” South Carolina coach Jason Fitzsimmons said. “Everyone played well. We can live with the effort outshooting the Gladiators handily 52-29. We’ll get back at it and go after two points on Saturday at home against Texas.”

South Carolina (8-7-2, 17 points) hit stride just 1:22 into the game. Matt Stefanishion took a pass from Cail MacLean and skated in on a breakaway beating Caruso to deposit his third goal in third consecutive game.

Donny Grover made it 2-0 for the Stingrays unleashing a right point shot on the power play through traffic to tally his third goal of the campaign at the 5:00 mark. Assists went to Jamie Fraser and Peter Szabo.

Gwinnett (9-4-3, 21 points) bounced back on the penalty kill. Joel Stepp lifted a shot from the left circle over the left shoulder of netminder Davis Parley to bury his third of the season. Scott Mifsud picked up the helper.

At 11:21 of the first, Kyle Wilson gave South Carolina its two-goal lead back again. Wilson re-directed a Jamie Fraser shot from the left point for his second goal of the campaign. Grover also garnered an assist.

MacLean gave South Carolina a 4-1 lead by taking a pass in front from Stefanishion at 3:23 of the second period to register his sixth marker of the year.

But Gwinnett stormed back with four consecutive goals in the middle stanza. Brandon Kaleniecki, Scott Mifsud scored at even strength, while Colton Fretter and Mike Vigilante tallied on the power play to give the Gladiators a 5-4 lead after 40 minutes.

In the third, the 21-year-old rookie defenseman Fraser took a pass in front from MacLean and buried the backhand shot for his third goal of the year at tied the score 5-5. Stefanishion also picked up his second helper of the game.

In the shootout, Mifsud and Bruce Mulherin scored for Gwinnett, while Jarrett Konkle replied for South Carolina. In the fifth round of the shootout, Fraser missed the net, as Caruso preserved the win.

South Carolina converted on 1-of-10 power play opportunities, while Gwinnett went 2-for-7 with the man advantage.

The Stingrays wrap up their three-game homestand with a 7:05 p.m. game on Saturday against the Texas Wildcatters at the North Charleston Coliseum. The game is sponsored by LastMinuteGolfer.com with promotions featuring Dunkin’ Donuts Million Dollar Chuck-A-Puck and a Used Car Giveaway, courtesy of Frankie Tires.

Join Mike Kelly, “Voice of the Stingrays” for live play-by-play action on ESPN Radio 910 The Team and online at www.stingrayshockey.com beginning at 6:50 p.m. with the Benito’s Pregame Show. Watch the game live on the web telecast for $6 each at www.stingrayshockey.com, courtesy of B2 Networks.

Don’t miss the fast-paced, action-packed, family affordable fun! Full season and partial season ticket packages are available by calling 744-2248.

Individual tickets can be purchased at the North Charleston Coliseum box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 554-6060 and online at www.ticketmaster.com.

Discounted groups tickets, birthday packages, Kids Club information and fundraiser opportunities are available by calling 744-2248 or by visiting online at www.stingrayshockey.com. Stingrays Hockey – A Whole Lot Cooler!


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