Rays Fall 3-2 to Gladiators Friday NightDec 11, 2015
12/11/2015 8:38 PM -
DULUTH, G.A.-A late second period goal for Atlanta captain Derek Nesbitt proved to be the game-winning tally as the Gladiators earned a 3-2 victory over South Carolina on Friday night at the Infinite Energy Arena. The contest was South Carolina's final game of a 10-game road trip. The Stingrays completed the road trip with a record of 6-4-0-0, and got goals from Brett Cameron and Derek DeBlois in the loss.
A back-and-forth contest saw the Gladiators score the game's opening goal shorthanded. Two Gladiators snuck behind the Stingrays defense, and forward Mike Merrifield took charge and skated in on a breakaway. He made a move, sliding a backhand through the five-hole of netminder Mark Dekanich to make it 1-0 Atlanta at 10:39 of the first period.
The Stingrays would quickly even the score only a minute later on the continuation of the power play. Cameron scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season on the rebound at 11:40. DeBlois walked the puck out from the corner. He cut down the left-wing, snapping a shot on Atlanta goaltender Kent Patterson. The netminder stopped the original shot, but left the rebound in the slot. Cameron chopped the puck up and over Patterson to make it 1-1.
The two teams traded goals in the second period, with Max Everson giving Atlanta a 2-1 lead at 5:36 of the middle frame. The forward split the defense on a turnover, and bounced a shot that found the back of the net. The Stingrays would respond on the power play at 9:16, as DeBlois scored his fourth goal of the season. Cameron took the puck end-to-end, and left a pass for DeBlois. The forward snapped a quick shot that beat Patterson under the blocker to tie the game, 2-2.
Nesbitt would score the game-winning goal at 15:05 of the second period. The 11th goal of the season for the veteran came from in tight after he found himself wide-open in front of Dekanich. Forward Tyler Murovich slipped a pass to the crease to Nesbitt, who beat Dekanich over the blocker with a wrist shot to give Atlanta the 3-2 lead.
Neither team had much offensive push in the final period, with the Stingrays outshooting the Gladiators 6-5 in the third period, and 31-21 on the night. South Carolina's best chance to tie the game came from Jordan Kwas late in the third period, but Patterson denied Kwas' quick wrist shot from the slot with his blocker.
South Carolina went 2-for-7 on the power play while Atlanta was 0-for-2.
The Stingrays return home tomorrow for the 6th Annual Hockey Heroes for Epilepsy Night at 7:05 p.m. vs the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at the North Charleston Coliseum. The night features a live post-game jersey auction of the Hockey Heroes For Epilepsy uniforms, a silent auction on the Coliseum concourse featuring autographed sports and entertainment memorabilia and special performances and presentations during the intermissions. The evening also features a Cool Ray Hockey Heroes for Epilepsy Bobblehead Giveaway.
Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster and the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office. For more information, fans may visit StingraysHockey.com.
The Stingrays host Atlanta on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. for the annual Teddy Bear Toss. The game also features free parking and is a Crews Subaru and Charleston Country Parks Family Day game featuring $5 Kids Tickets and $5 Kids Meals.
Do not miss a second of the action! 2015-16 Stingrays Ticket Plans are on sale NOW! Save money off of box office prices and get great benefits like FREE parking, Buddy Passes, discounts off of merchandise, advanced ticket purchases to North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center events and more! Click here to see all the benefits and options!