NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Shootout goals by Andrew Cherniwchan and Jonathan Charbonneau gave the South Carolina Stingrays (15-11-0-0) a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Gladiators (5-12-4-1) Wednesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. The win was their fourth straight overall and 10th consecutive against the Gladiators.
Forwards Cam Askew and Cherniwchan scored during regulation for the Rays, while forward Tad Kozun and defender Joey Leach each picked up two assists in the triumph. Goaltender Gordon Defiel got the start and earned his third win of the year for South Carolina, making 29 saves in the contest.
There was no score after the first 20 minutes, but Askew got South Carolina on the board in the second with his fourth goal in the team’s last three games against Atlanta and the fifth tally of his rookie season. Kozun and Leach picked up assists on the goal that came at 11:53 of the second period while SC was on the power play.
The Stingrays opened up the third period on the power play and it only took 12 seconds for them to increase their advantage to 2-0. Kozun took a pass from Leach and moved up the left wing and into the offensive zone. He then wasted no time moving the puck right to the low slot where Cherniwchan was wide open for his 10th goal of the season. The Hinton, Alta. native now leads SC in scoring with 25 points thru 26 games.
Atlanta got back in the game via consecutive goals by Tyler Deresky, who found the back of the net right after Cherniwchan at 55 seconds of the third period as well as at 6:50 of the third.
The contest stayed even at 2-2 for the remainder of regulation and headed for overtime, where both clubs hit a post during the extra session but were held off the board. Atlanta’s Nick Bligh converted in the first shot attempt of the shootout, but Defiel made saves on the next two shooters Jesse Gabrielle and Jared Ross to end the game for the Stingrays after Cherniwchan and Charbonneau shot pucks past Gladiators’ goaltender Sean Bonar.
Bonar made 35 saves in the game during a losing effort for Atlanta. South Carolina outshot the Gladiators 37-31 during the 65 minutes of play, including a 4-3 shot on goal advantage during overtime.
The Stingrays scored twice on the power play for the fourth consecutive game, finishing 2-for-5 on the man-advantage. They also held Atlanta off the board on the power play in the contest at 0-for-3. During the three straight games these teams have faced each other over the last six days, South Carolina scored six times on the power play while not allowing any man-advantage goals to the Gladiators.