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Atlanta Earns Point in OT loss to South Carolina

Sunday, November 19th
Atlanta Earns Point in OT loss to South Carolina

After getting a couple of days rest, the Atlanta Gladiators returned to action on Sunday afternoon as they hosted the South Carolina Stingrays at the Infinite Energy Arena. With the game tied after regulation, Steven Whitney provided the heroics with the overtime goal to give the Stingrays the 3-2 victory.

South Carolina opened the scoring for the game just 1:26 into the first period. Kelly Zajac intercepted a pass deep in his offensive zone and centered the puck to Andrew Cherniwchan in the slot. The sixth-year pro then snapped a shot over the glove of Atlanta’s goalie Dan Vladar, to give the Stingrays a 1-0 lead.

Atlanta didn’t take long to bring the game back to even, as just :09 seconds later Luke Sandler buried a shot to make the score 1-1. Tanner Pond stole the puck from a South Carolina defender in his offensive zone and skated down into the corner with the puck. There, the Michigan native sent a pass to Sandler in front, who tapped the puck in for his fourth goal of the season.

The Gladiators then grabbed their first lead of the game 8:38 into the opening frame. Taylor Stefishen carried the puck deep in the offensive zone and dropped a pass off to Josh Atkinson. The second-year defender then circled behind the net and found Alex Gacek wide open at the back-door, where he wristed a shot off the post and into the net to make it 2-1 for Atlanta.

The Stingrays would even the score at 2-2 with a goal 1:56 into the second period. After Vladar made a big save on the first shot he knocked the puck out of the crease, where it took an unfortunate bounce to the stick of Patrick Gaul, who roofed a shot into the open net. Both Zajac and Cherniwchan tallied their second point of the game with an assist on the tying goal.

With neither team able to net a winner in the third period, the two squads headed to overtime to decide a victor. With 1:29 remaining in the extra frame, South Carolina was awarded a penalty shot. On the opportunity, Whitney was successful in his move around Vladar and netted the winning goal to give the Stingrays a 3-2 win.

Unable to hold their lead earlier in the game, Atlanta fell to 8-5-1-1 with the overtime loss on home ice and remained in fourth in the South Division with 18 points. Meanwhile, South Carolina picked up their first victory over the Gladiators of the season on Sunday, and improved to 9-2-2-0, good for second in the division with 20 points.

Up next, Atlanta will take three days off before they face off with South Carolina once again on Thursday night. The puck drops at 7:05 pm at the Infinite Energy Arena between the Gladiators and Stingrays for the Thanksgiving showdown.

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