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Gladiators Down Stingrays 3-1

By: Mike Kelly
DULUTH, Ga. – Goaltender Dave Caruso made 31 saves and Chad Painchaud scored a goal and picked up an assist to lead the Gwinnett Gladiators to a 3-1 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays in front of 6,340 at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.

“We outplayed them and had more chances, but the bottom line is they outscored us,” South Carolina coach Jason Fitzsimmons said. “It’s disappointing. I liked our effort. Gwinnett scored some timely goals and had solid goaltending. We’re going to play on emotion for our home game in less than 24 hours against Charlotte.”

Gwinnett (31-17-6, 68 points) got rolling 1:11 into the first period. Blue Bennefield beat goaltender Daren Machesney from the slot for his 12th goal of the campaign from Painchaud and Joel Stepp.

South Carolina (26-20-7, 59 points) responded 43 seconds later on the penalty kill. Brendan Bernakevitch fed a pass to Stephen Werner, who notched his 8th goal of the year snapping a shot by Caruso.

The Gladiators regained the lead with their league-leading power play converted at 12:50 of the opening stanza. Painchaud buried his 18th tally of the season from Mike Vigilante and Jamie Milam.

In the second, Andy Contois netted his 16th of the year assisted by Vigilante at the 16:12 mark to give Gwinnett a 3-1 lead after two periods.

Midway through the third, Machesney was forced to leave the game with a knee injury. Davis Parley took over in the South Carolina net facing only one shot, which was a save.

South Carolina failed to convert on six power play opportunities, while Gwinnett went 1-for-5 with the man advantage. Stingrays outshot the Gladiators 32-12.

The Stingrays return home for a 4 p.m. game on Sunday against the Charlotte Checkers at the North Charleston Coliseum. It’s Kids Day presented by the Carolina Ice Palace offering all kids 12-and-under a ticket for just $5 each. The promotion also includes a “Postgame Skate with the Rays” and it’s Dogs Days of Winter, where fans can bring their dog to the game. In addition, there are opportunities to win free Stingrays jerseys right off the players back, presented by Coke.

Listen live to Mike Kelly, “Voice of the Stingrays” on ESPN Radio 910 The Team and online at www.stingrayshockey.com beginning at 3:45 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! Purchase your flex tickets today. You pick the games; you pocket the savings! For more information call (843) 744-2248 to speak to a ticket sales manager.

Individual tickets can be purchased at the North Charleston Coliseum box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (843) 554-6060 and online at www.ticketmaster.com.

Discounted groups tickets, birthday packages, Kids Club information and fundraiser opportunities are available by calling (843) 744-2248 or by visiting online at www.stingrayshockey.com. Stingrays Hockey – A Whole Lot Cooler!


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