NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - Atlanta finished the three-game road trip at the North Charleston Coliseum against the South Carolina Stingrays. The Gladiators got behind quick and were unable to catch up from an early deficient falling to the Rays 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Just over a minute into the first period the home side struck first. Miroslav Svoboda got caught behind the net and turned over the puck to the Stingrays forecheckers. Jon Charbonneau got the puck behind the net and centered the puck to Sam Fioretti. The rookie forward put the puck into the goal with Svoboda scrambling to give the Rays the early lead.
Another early goal, 3:54 into the opening period increased the South Carolina advantage to two. Shane Eiserman chipped in a rebound on a scuffle in front of the net for his third goal of the season. Grant Besse and Matt Pohlkamp earned the helpers on the tally.
South Carolina went up three at the 9:56 mark of the first. Patrick Gaul netted a shorthanded goal off a one-on-one rush for his first goal of the season.
Atlanta got one back with their first of the evening with 6:28 left in the first frame. Derek Nesbitt took a drop feed from Nolan LaPorte and sent the puck between the legs of Stingrays’ goalie, Adam Morrison for his second goal in as many nights. Olivier Galipeau recorded the assist on the Glads first tally.
The home team went back up by three goals with a notch 9:03 into the second period. Besse danced around the Glads defense and deposited his 10th goal of the season into the top shelf of the net. Andrew Cherniwchan registered the lone helper of the goal.
Not giving up in the contest, Atlanta cut the lead back to two once more. Ben Danford created a turnover in his offensive zone and found Jesse Gabrielle in the left circle. The Saskatchewan native blasted a wrist shot over the shoulder of Morrison for his third goal of the season.
The Gladiators outshot the Stingrays in the third period but no goals were scored as the Stingrays held on to the 4-2 win. The Gladiators dropped to 4-5-2-0 and remain at 10 points. South Carolina picked up win seven on the year and move to 14 points on the season with a 7-6-0-0 record.
Up next, the Gladiators return home for Hockey Fights Cancer weekend with games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.