The Atlanta Gladiators took to the ice for the second night in a row as they faced off with the South Carolina Stingrays at the North Charleston Coliseum on Friday night. A multi-point game from five different Gladiators players proved to make the difference, as a strong team effort gave the visitors the 4-3 victory.
Atlanta scored the game’s opening goal just 1:02 into the first period. Brady Vail collected the puck behind South Carolina’s net and pushed a pass over to Lindsay Sparks. The University of Michigan product then turned out from behind the net and slipped a pass to Phil Lane, who wristed a shot into the goal for his 14th tally of the season.
The Gladiators then netted another goal 8:04 into the opening frame to go ahead 2-0. Vail received a pass in the neutral zone and then tapped the puck forward to Alex Carrier on an odd-man rush. The Quebec native then fed a pass back to Vail for the quick give-and-go play and received the return pass in front of the net, where he blasted a shot past Parker Milner. Colin Sullivan was credited with the secondary assist on Carrier’s second goal of the year.
South Carolina then cut their deficit to 2-1 with 4:52 left in the first period. Patrick Gaul took a slap-shot from the point that was knocked down in front by Atlanta goalie, Dan Vladar. Steven Whitney then collected the loose rebound in front and slid the puck into the open net for his seventh goal of the season. Paul Geiger tallied the secondary assist on the Stingrays first goal of the contest.
The visitors then regained their two-goal 1:14 into the second period. Sparks skated into the offensive zone on an odd-man rush and sailed a pass across the ice to Vail. The Hendersonville, NC native then snapped a shot towards net that was saved by Milner, however, the rebound then hit off the skate of Lane and rolled in for his second goal of the evening. Vail tallied his third point of the game, while Sparks notched his second on the goal that put Atlanta up 3-1.
The Stingrays then moved back to within one after they scored to make it 3-2 with 2:54 left in the middle frame. Marcus Perrier took the puck deep in his offensive zone and then sent a pass off the boards to Tommy Hughes at the point. The former London Knight then blasted a shot from there that ricocheted over the shoulder of Vladar for his first goal of the season.
Atlanta then regained a two-goal lead for the third time 5:23 into the final period. Ben Danford skated the puck deep into the offensive zone from the point and stickhandled around a South Carolina defender, before he directed a shot towards the net that hit off the stick of Milner and slipped in to put the Gladiators ahead 4-2. Both Carrier and Sullivan notched their second point of the game with an assist on Danford’s sixth goal of the year.
South Carolina would add a goal with :18 seconds remaining in the third, but it was too-little-too-late as they still fell to the Glads 4-3. With the road victory, Atlanta ended their longest skid of the season and improved to 13-15-1-1 on the year. This kept the Gladiators in fourth in the South Division with 28 points. Meanwhile, South Carolina dropped to 17-6-3-1 with the loss, but remain in second in the division with 38 points.
Up next, the Gladiators will take time off for the holiday break before they get back to action next Wednesday at the Infinite Energy Arena. Atlanta will play host to the Florida Everblades at 7:05 pm on December 27th.
Gladiators End Losing Skid with 4-3 Win in South Carolina
Friday, December 22nd
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