Atlanta squandered a two-goal lead in the third period as they fell to South Carolina Stingrays 3-2 at the North Charleston Coliseum in the last road game of season on Friday night.
After neither team was able to score in the opening period, Atlanta earned the night's first tally just 1:21 into the second period. Trevor Mingoia skated along the goal-line towards the front of the net and powered his way around the last Stngrays' defender. The Providence College product then slid the puck between the legs of the South Carolina goalie, Parker Milner for his 20th goal of the season. Tyler Murovich and Shane Bakker collected the assists on the game's opening notch.
Atlanta doubled their lead to 2-0 at the 8:43 mark of the middle stanza. Tommy Vannelli took a slap shot from the point that missed the net and hit the end-glass. The puck ricocheted out into the crease where Thomas Frazee chipped the loose disc into the net. Atlanta captain, Derek Nesbitt managed the secondary helper on Frazee's 18th goal of the year.
South Carolina added two goals near the mid-way point of the final period to tie the game. Nicastro scored first tapping in a backdoor pass from Joe Devin. This was followed by Scott Tanski evening the score after he deflected in the Marcus Perrier point shot.
The Stingrays took their first lead of the game 14:54 into the third period. Dufour collected a loose puck at center-ice after it took a crazy bounce around both Atlanta defensemen. The Bowling Green State University product moved in all-alone on a breakaway against Gladiators' netminder Matt Ginn and slipped the puck between his legs for his third goal of the season.
Atlanta's late surge went for not as South Carolina held on for the 3-2 victory as they cliched a playoff spot. Atlanta dropped their final road game of the season as their point total remained at 60 with a 26-37-6-2 record. South Carolina improved to 82 points and a 39-28-3-1 record, however their playoff seed still up in the air.