DULUTH, Ga. - The Atlanta Gladiators (8-4-1-0) skated to a 3-1 victory at Gas South Arena on Friday night against the South Carolina Stingrays (8-4-1-0). Newly reassigned rookie forward Liam Kirk bagged his first two Gladiators goals in the third period, and goaltender Tyler Parks allowed just one goal on 45 Stingrays shots.
First Star: Liam Kirk (ATL) - two goals
Second Star: Tyler Parks (ATL) - 44 saves
Third Star: Cody Sylvester (ATL) - goal
Tyler Parks helped keep the game tied at 0-0 through the first period with 19 saves in the first frames. South Carolina's 19 shots in the first marked the most shots that Atlanta had surrendered in a period this season.
Cody Sylvester eventually broke the scoreless tie late in the second period with his sixth tally of the season (16:02). On the power play, Sylvester shot puck from the right circle that beat South Carolina goaltender Tyler Wall on the glove side. The goal marked the 10th straight contest in which the Gladiators have scored a power-play goal.
Atlanta's penalty kill came up big once again late in the third period when the Glads killed off 1:39 worth of a 5-on-3 for the Stingrays.
Englishman Liam Kirk came to life in the third period and tabbed his first two Gladiators goals. Michael Turner and Reece Vitelli got to work on the forecheck in the middle of the third frame and forced a turnover in the South Carolina zone. Kirk picked up the loose disc and roofed it to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead (7:42).
Later in the third, Kirk picked up his second goal on a blazing wrist shot from the slot (13:49).
Andrew Cherniwchan spoiled Atlanta goaltender Tyler Parks' shutout bid with a late third-period goal to get South Carolina on the board (18:54). Parks finished a stellar night with 44 saves on 45 shots.
Atlanta takes on South Carolina tomorrow at 7:00 PM on home ice to round out the week.