Late Comeback Not Enough As Rays Fall To AtlantaJan 29, 2017
The South Carolina Stingrays (23-16-2-1) scored three straight third period goals to get back in the game but couldn’t find an equalizer in the final minutes and fell 5-4 to the Atlanta Gladiators (17-19-6-1) on Sunday at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Rob Flick led the way offensively for the Rays with a goal and an assist in the contest, while Patrick Gaul, Olivier Archambault and Steven McParland each scored tallies in the final period.
South Carolina took an early 1-0 lead in the game when Flick scored his 19th goal of the year at 12:45 of the opening period. The veteran forward knocked a pass from Domenic Monardo out of the air and moved in on net before unleashing a quick wrist shot to beat Atlanta netminder Daniel Vladar blocker side. Defenseman Alex Brooks also earned an assist on the goal for the Stingrays.
But the Gladiators scored twice in less than a minute late in the period on unassisted goals by Tyler Murovich and Drew Baker and secured a 2-1 advantage going into the first intermission.
Atlanta increased their lead in the middle frame to 4-1 on two more goals by Connor Gaarder and Brock Higgs at 3:29 and 17:54 respectively.
After an early third period goal by Gaarder at 5:44 made it 5-1 Gladiators, South Carolina turned on the pressure.
Gaul’s seventh goal of the season at 7:10 sparked a change in momentum and cut the Atlanta lead to 5-2. After an initial shot by defenseman Max Nicastro, Gaul poked the rebound home from the front of the net. Goaltender Parker Milner was credited with his second assist of the season on the play.
Then after consecutive Atlanta penalties gave South Carolina a two-man advantage, Archambault deflected a shot by Flick past Vladar for his eighth tally of the year at 8:51 to make it 5-3. Defenseman Colton Saucerman picked up the assist on the play for his fourth helper of the weekend.
The Stingrays made it a one-goal game on their second power play tally by McParland, his 10th of the year at 15:43. Defenseman Marcus Perrier placed the puck in a perfect spot for the rookie who used a deflection in front to make it a 5-4 game.
Despite more chances in the final minutes and an extra attacker on the ice with Milner on the bench, South Carolina couldn’t produce a fifth tally and dropped their second straight to the Gladiators.
The Stingrays out-shot Atlanta 18-4 in the third period and 36-27 in the game while going 2-for-5 on the power play. The Glads were 1-for-2 on the man-advantage.
Vladar finished with 32 saves to secure the victory, while Milner stopped 22 shots in his first game back with the Stingrays after a call-up to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.
The Stingrays hit the road for a six-game trip up north starting in Manchester against the Monarchs on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Single-game tickets for all Stingrays games during the 2016-17 season are on sale now at the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office and ticketmaster.com.
Ticket packages and Groups of 10 or more are on sale now featuring discounted pricing and great benefits. For more information or to place an order call the Stingrays front office at 843-744-2248 or stop by 3300 W. Montague Ave. Suite A-200 during business hours.