The South Carolina Stingrays (2-1) defeated the Gwinnett Gladiators (1-2) 4-3 in quadruple overtime and the second-longest game in ECHL history Friday night and Saturday morning in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. Goaltender Rob Madore earned the win making 54 saves. The Stingrays lead the best-of-five series 2-1.
The Gladiators jumped on the board first at 6:39 of the opening period when defenseman Dallas Jackson lifted a shot over the glove of Madore. Forwards Joey Haddad and Pat Galivan recorded assists. The Stingrays responded on the power play at 9:18 with defenseman Johann Kroll's second goal of the postseason beating Gladiators netminder Marc Cheverie (L, 44 saves on 48 shots) with help from forward Maxime Lacroix and Zach Tarkir.
Gladiators forward Andy Brandt made it 2-1 8:12 into the second period from Jackson. The Stingrays tied it back up moments later when forward Matt Scherer banked a shot off the right pad of Cheverie for his first goal of the playoffs at 10:51 from forward Greg Stewart and defenseman Dustin Stevenson. The Gladiators reclaimed the lead at the 15:18 mark on a deflection from rookie Jacob Drewiske off a defenseman Paul Flache shot. Defenseman Sean Duddy added the second assist.
Early in the third period, Stevenson knotted the game back up with assists from forwards Shea Walters and Chris Higgins at 2:15.
After three tough overtimes and being outshot 26-20 in the extra periods, Tarkir caught a loose puck off a faceoff and blasted it past Cheverie at 4:19 of the fourth session to give the Stingrays the series lead. The Stingrays went 1-for-5 on the power play while the Gladiators went 0-for-5. From start to finish, the game took 124 minutes and 19 seconds, finishing second in league history behind the Elmira Jackals and Trenton Titans contest played on April 10, 2009 and ending with 126:10 played.
Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Stingrays and Gladiators is Sunday, April 8 at 2:05 p.m. at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.