Cam Askew had a goal and an assist as the South Carolina Stingrays (33-31-5-1) scored a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Gladiators (31-28-7-3) on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum to even up the race for a playoff spot in the South Division.
The Stingrays’ victory tied them for fourth place with Atlanta, each team owning 72 points in the standings. The Gladiators have three games remaining, while SC will play two more regular season contests with Atlanta next weekend to decide the final postseason berth.
Other Stingrays goals were scored by Patrick Gaul, Grant Besse and Andrew Cherniwchan, while goaltender Parker Milner picked up the victory in between the pipes with 32 saves.
SC, who never trailed in the contest, opened up the scoring at 6:59 of the first period when Gaul netted his 11th of the season with assists from Josh Gratton as well as Askew. The double-deuce took advantage after Atlanta defenseman Olivier Galipeau lost an edge and fell down on the play. Askew put an initial shot on net but Gaul swept the rebound into the cage to make it 1-0.
Matt Lane evened the game for Atlanta at 1-1 with a tally at 7:00 of the second period.But Besse responded for the Stingrays later in the frame with his 30th goal of the season from his linemates Stephane Legault and Jordan Samuels-Thomas to put SC back in front at 2-1 at 16:25 of the middle period.
Atlanta pulled even once again when Zach Magwood scored his first ECHL goal at 1:56 of the third to knot things up at 2-2.
However, less than four minutes later, Askew put the Rays in front for good with his 15th goal of the year on the power play when he deflected a shot by Ryker Killins past goaltender Sean Bonar to regain the team’s lead by a 3-2 score. The second assist on the play went to team captain Joey Leach.
Cherniwchan sealed up the win with an unassisted empty-net strike in the final minute at 19:18 for his 28th goal of the year.
Askew’s power play strike was the lone man-advantage tally of the contest as SC finished 1-for-4 in the game while Atlanta was held to an 0-for-3 mark. The Rays outshot Atlanta by a total of 40-34 and Bonar stopped 36 shots in a losing effort for the Glads.
The Stingrays and Gladiators face-off once again on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum at 7:05 p.m. for the team’s FAN-tastic FAN-ale, the final home game for the Rays during the regular season. Tickets are on sale now!
To bring your group to the game, call the Stingrays Front Office at 843-744-2248! For single game tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.