After a quick stop at home on Wednesday, the Atlanta Gladiators hit the road once again as they matched up with the South Carolina Stingrays at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday night. A four-goal third period made the difference for the home side, as South Carolina took the 5-0 win.
The Stingrays opened the games scoring 5:47 into the first period. Patrick Gaul collected the puck off a turnover at the point and found Joey Leach open on the far side. The Wadena, SK native then sent a pass across the zone to Joe Devin, who brought the puck closer to the net and fired a shot into the back of the net for his 18th goal of the season.
Following a scoreless middle frame, South Carolina struck on the power play 2:28 into the third period to take a 2-0 lead. Mike Chen received the puck in the far-side circle of the offensive zone and tapped a pass to Kris Bindulis at the point. The rookie out of Latvia then fired a shot on net that was stopped by the pad of Sean Bonar. Steven Whitney then grabbed the rebound in front of the net and slipped a shot into the goal for his 16th tally of the year.
The home side then took a 3-0 lead at the 9:34 mark of the third. Kelly Zajac won the faceoff in his defensive zone and knocked the puck back to Danny Federico. The 6-foot-1 defender then shot the puck off the glass in an attempt to clear the puck. Nick Roberto got to the loose puck first and skated in on a breakaway, where he snapped a shot past Bonar for his fifth goal of the campaign.
Just over two minutes later, the Stingrays struck once again to go ahead 4-0. Evan Neugold corralled a bouncing puck in the neutral zone and directed a pass forward to Taylor Cammarata. The Plymouth, MN native then broke into the offensive zone on a two-on-one and sent a pass across to Roberto. The former Boston University Terrier read the pass and redirected it into the net for his second of the night.
South Carolina netted their fourth of the last frame to take the 5-0 lead at the 14:56 mark. Tad Kozun was credited with his first goal of the season after he tapped in a rebound at the backdoor. Both Cammarata and Federico tallied their second assist of the game on the play.
Unable to continue the offensive surge from earlier in the week, Atlanta dropped to 28-31-1-2 with the road loss and remain in fourth in the South Division with 59 points. Meanwhile, South Carolina improved to 38-13-6-1 with the victory and sit in second in the division with 83 points.
Up next, the Gladiators will return to the Infinite Energy Arena for a four-game home-stand starting on March 13th. In the first game, Atlanta will face off against the Idaho Steelheads at 7:05pm on Tuesday in Duluth, GA.