The Atlanta Gladiators took to the ice for the first game of a home-and-home set with the South Carolina Stingrays at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday night. Dylan Margonari provided the heroics for the home side, as his two goals led the Stingrays to a 3-1 victory.
South Carolina would open the game’s scoring 5:00 into the first period. Taylor Cammarata collected the puck on the near-side boards and sent a pass across his offensive zone to Kris Bindulis. The Latvian defender then centered a saucer-pass to Margonari, who wristed a shot past Atlanta netminder Matt O’Connor to put the home side up 1-0. The second-year pro’s seventh goal of the season was the first of the game for the home side, so it sent the stuffed animals flying on the Stingray’s annual Teddy Bear Toss night.
The Gladiators would then respond with a power play goal to tie the game at 1-1 with 12:53 left in the opening frame. Zach Malatesta collected a pass at the blue line and circled deeper into the zone when he lined a shot off the pads of Parker Milner. Brady Vail then picked up the rebound in front of the net and skated around the defenders to send a shot into the open net for his 10th goal of the season. Luke Sandler was credited with the secondary assist on Atlanta’s first goal of the game.
With 9:18 to go in the second period, The Stingrays struck once again to take a 2-1 lead. Cammarata stole the puck from an Atlanta defender behind the net and knocked the puck into the open slot. With no one else close in front of the net, Margonari collected the pass and skated towards O’Connor before he ripped a shot high-glove side for his second goal of the game.
South Carolina would add an empty net goal from Andrew Cherniwchan with 1:03 left in the game to seal the 3-1 victory. With their second loss in as many nights, Atlanta dropped to 12-10-1-1, but remain in fourth in the South Division with 26 points. Meanwhile, South Carolina improved to 13-4-3-1 with the win on home ice, and stayed in second in the division with 30 points.
Up next, the same two teams will face off once again tomorrow afternoon for the second game of the home-and-home set. The puck drops between the Gladiators and Stingrays at 2:05pm on Sunday at the Infinite Energy Arena.
South Carolina Takes 3-1 Victory Over Gladiators
Saturday, December 9th
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