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Glads Stun Stingrays 4-1

Thursday, January 14th
Glads Stun Stingrays 4-1

A three goal third period lifted the Gladiators to an impressive 4-1 victory over division rival South Carolina on Friday night. Glads Defenseman Matt Register would contribute two goals on the night, with one each for Captain Derek Nesbitt and forward JT Barnett. Matt Ginn made 25 saves between the pipes for the Glads. The Atlanta Gladiators opened up the scoring against the South Carolina Stingrays at the 14:26 mark of the first period. Thomas Frazee recovered the puck in the high slot and passed to an open Derek Nesbitt at the left point. The captain skated in and took a quick snap shot from the left circle that went past the blocker of Stingrays goaltender, Mark Dekanich, for the 1-0 lead. Nesbitt tallied his team and league-leading 19th goal while Frazee notched his 19th assist and 24th point of the year.A slap shot from the high slot early in the second period tied the game at 1-1 for the Stingrays. Marcus Perrier received a pass from Stephan Vigier at the high point and powered his shot past a bevy of defenders as well as Gladiators goaltender, Matt Ginn. Stingrays captain Andrew Rowe was credited with the secondary assist on Perrier's third goal of the season.Matt Register retook the lead for Atlanta 34 seconds into the third period during the home side's third powerplay opportunity. The defenseman drifted to the center point with the puck and ripped a slap shot past Dekanich to give the Gladiators a 2-1 advantage. The score gave Register 16 points in the last 10 games while Garry Nunn notched his 21st helper on the play along with Frazee who collected his second point of the night. The Gladiators increased their lead to 3-1 on a breakaway tally by J.T. Barnett with 10:53 left in the third period. Mike Merrifield stole the puck in the neutral zone and gave a lead pass to the streaking Barnett. The Scottsdale, AZ native took on Dekanich and backhanded the puck past the glove of the Stingrays goaltender. Merrifield tallied his 11th assist on Barnett's fifth goal and 12th point of the season.Register sealed the game with a short-handed, empty-net goal with 32 seconds remaining in the contest. The score was his second of the night and sixth of the year. Register notched his 22nd point in 19 games played on the play.With the win in the crucial South Division, Atlanta increases their lead on South Carolina to five points. The Gladiators also improved to 23-12-2-0 and 48 points which put them in fourth place in the Eastern Conference while South Carolina falls to 20-14-2-1 and stay at 43 points.

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