Forward Tyler McNeely scored the game-winning goal and added an assist and goaltender Adam Morrison picked up his first professional win making 35 saves as the South Carolina Stingrays (1-0-0-0) defeated the Gwinnett Gladiators (0-1-0-0) 4-3 in front of 6,413 at the North Charleston Coliseum Saturday night.
The Stingrays broke open the scoring early in the second period when forward Mike Hamilton deflected a pass from McNeely past the left pad of Gladiators goaltender Louis Domingue (L, 20 saves on 24 shots) at 5:00. Forward Matthew Pistilli earned the second assist. The Gladiators tied the contest moments later when forward Chris Clackson lifted a wrist shot over the glove of Morrison at 7:18. Stingrays forward Andrew Cherniwchan made it 2-1 at 8:40 from forward Mike Ullrich. Ullrich gave the Stingrays a two-goal lead at 11:15 tapping in a pass from forward Tyler Randell. Former Greenville Road Warriors forward Kale Kerbashian pulled the Gladiators back within one at 18:15 with help from forward Doug Jones and defenseman Dallas Jackson.
Gladiators forward Tyler Murovich knotted the game back up on the power play at 5:41 of the final frame from forward Casey Pierro-Zabotel and defenseman Ryan Donald. McNeely buried the game-winning goal on the man advantage at 9:59. Defenseman Ryan Turek and Pistilli registered assists. Both the Stingrays and the Gladiators finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play.
The Stingrays visit their in-state rivals, the Greenville Road Warriors, for the first time this season on Friday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, S.C. and return to the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday, October 20 to face the Ontario Reign for the first time in team history.