By: Joseph Zakrzewski
North Charleston, SC –Forward Rob Ricci scored his second professional hat trick as the South Carolina Stingrays (18-14-1-1) pushed their unbeaten streak to four games with a 4-1 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators (14-17-1-4) at the North Charleston Coliseum Tuesday night.
Stingrays forward Luke Popko opened the scoring at 7:51 of the first period slapping a pass from forward Dan Eves past Gladiators goaltender Edward Pasquale for his first professional goal. Defenseman Patrick Cullity earned the second assist. Ricci made it a 2-0 Stingrays lead on the power play at 13:05 from forwards Samson Mahbod and Tommy Goebel. The Gladiators cut the lead in half on the power play when forward Tim Miller buried a wrist shot past Stingrays goalie Todd Ford from the bottom of the left-wing circle at 15:02 from forwards Andy Brandt and Michael Forney.
After a scoreless middle frame, Ricci reclaimed a two-goal lead for the Stingrays at 6:34 of third period sending a wrist shot over the glove of Pasquale. Goebel and Mahbod received assists. Ricci completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal late in the frame from Mahbod and defenseman Bryan Schmidtat 18:52.
Pasquale acquired the loss stopping 28 of 31 Stingrays shots. Ford improved to 3-2-0-0 against the Gladiators pushing away 22 of 23 chances. The Stingrays ended the contest 1-for-4 on the power play while Gwinnett went 1-for-6.
The Stingrays welcome the Trenton Devils to the North Charleston Coliseum for a three-game in three-night series starting Friday, January 7 at 7:05 p.m. Join the Stingrays on Friday for FIRST Robotics Night featuring the first ceremonial puck drop by a robot in Stingrays history! Robotics teams from around the state will be giving live demonstrations on the main concourse during the first and second intermissions.
The Stingrays Holiday Puck Pack is back! Get six flex tickets and an exclusive Stingrays 2010 Holiday Puck for one low price! Give the gift of Stingrays hockey this season. For more information, click here or visit www.stingrayshockey.com. Become a fan on Facebook at Facebook.com/SCStingraysHockey. Stingrays Hockey – It’s More Than Just a Game.
On Saturday, January 8, the Stingrays host Dogs on the Pond against the Devils at 7:05 p.m. Bring your dog to the game! The series concludes with Kid’s Day on Sunday, January 9 at 4:00 p.m. Kid’s tickets are only $5! Arrive early for a pre-game kid’s carnival and stay after the game for a post-game autograph session with the entire Stingrays team!