Rays Finish 3-Game Sweep of Glads With 5-3 WinMar 25, 2017
The South Carolina Stingrays (36-26-2-1) won their fourth consecutive game and finished a 3-night sweep of the Atlanta Gladiators (24-33-6-2), defeating their divisional opponents 5-3 on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Three SC skaters notched two points in the contest including Derek Arnold who tallied a goal and an assist, along with Olivier Archambault and Steven McParland who each picked up two assists.
Atlanta struck first in the opening period and took their first lead of the series at 1-0 when Derek Nesbitt scored on the power play at 9:32 of the first.
South Carolina rebounded later in the frame and tied the game at 1-1 when forward Patrick Megannety scored his third goal of the season on a rebound in front of the Atlanta net. After an initial shot by Patrick Gaul was saved by goaltender Matt Ginn, Megannety dove forward and swept the puck into the cage while falling to the ground. Archambault, who had sent the puck forward in the offensive zone to Gaul, was credited with the second assist on the equalizer.
The Stingrays then took the lead just 38 seconds into the second period on defenseman Joey Leach’s fourth tally of the year. Archambault found the blueliner for a blast from the top of the left circle that beat Ginn up high, top shelf to give South Carolina a 2-1 advantage.
Later in the frame, Arnold scored his second of his Stingrays career, batting a puck out of the air and into the net after Ginn made an initial save with his helmet on a shot by McParland. The goal, which was scored at 4:14 of the second, was also assisted by Marcus Perrier and gave the Rays a 3-1 lead.
With the assist, McParland has now registered a point in 10 consecutive games for South Carolina.
But the Gladiators quickly mounted a comeback, scoring twice in a span of 2:29 to even the score at 3-3. Josh Atkinson scored first at 5:03 before Thomas Frazee tied the contest at 7:32.
The second period scoring continued when Kelly Zajac re-took the lead for South Carolina at 4-3 with his 13th goal of the season on a backhand shot at 9:06 that was assisted by Arnold and McParland. Zajac struck for a goal in all three games against Atlanta this week, including the game-winning tally in both Friday and Saturday’s games.
Stingrays’ captain Joe Devin had the final goal of the evening and gave his team some insurance at 16:06 of the middle period, scoring his 13th of the year by sweeping a rebound from in front of the net by Ginn. Wade Epp took the first shot on net of the play to pick up the first helper, while Kevin Dufour was credited with the second assist.
The point was Dufour’s first of his professional career, coming in his second game with South Carolina.
Parker Milner made the start and earned the win for the Stingrays, making 18 saves in the contest. Milner has now started nine consecutive games for the Rays and has been in net for all 60 minutes during each of South Carolina’s four consecutive victories.
Ginn suffered the loss for Atlanta, making 33 saves in the game. The Gladiators finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Stingrays were 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
South Carolina hosts the Indy Fuel in the teams’ only meeting of the season on Sunday afternoon at 3:05 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. Mascots from all over the Lowcountry will be in attendance during Sunday’s game for Mascot Mania! 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.