A third period goal by Tim Harrison kept the South Carolina Stingrays (24-4-3-1) ahead of the Atlanta Gladiators (14-17-0-0) for good in a 3-2 win at the North Charleston Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
Goaltender Logan Thompson stopped 34 shots for the Stingrays to earn his 12th win of the season, while Mark Cooper and Cam Askew each also netted goals in the victory.
Cooper put South Carolina in front 1-0 late in the opening period at 17:28 with his 12th goal of the season from captain Andrew Cherniwchan and defender Matt Nuttle.
Just over a minute later, Askew extended the lead to 2-0 with a goal off the rush from forward Jonathan Charbonneau and defenseman Jaynen Rissling at 18:36.
Atlanta’s Avery Peterson scored the lone goal of the second frame for the Gladiators at 14:42 of the middle period to cut the lead back down to one at 2-1.
Harrison gave the Stingrays the insurance they needed at 2:06 of the third with his sixth goal of the season. Defenseman Zach Urban, who was making his debut with SC on Sunday, found forward Scott Davidson on the right wing to enter the offensive zone and the attacker dropped a pass off to Harrison for the strike.
Later in the final period, after a match penalty was given to Rissling for an illegal check to the head, Anthony Collins converted on the power play to put the Glads back within a goal at 3-2.
But Atlanta was unable to even the game in the closing minutes and the Stingrays held on to grab the victory.
South Carolina held the Gladiators to a 1-for-8 mark on the man-advantage in the game, while finishing 0-for-4 on the power play themselves. Atlanta outshot the Rays 36-28 in the contest. Goaltender Chris Nell came up with 25 saves for the Glads in a losing effort.
The Stingrays and Gladiators meet once again on Tuesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.