The Gwinnett Gladiators scored the game-winning goal with 16 seconds left in the third period to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays 3-2 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at The Arena at Gwinnett Center Saturday evening. The Stingrays trail the best-of-seven series 2-0.
The Gladiators took a 1-0 lead at 6:30 of the first period when forward Ryan Ginand poked a bouncing puck away from defenseman Ryan Button inside the Gladiators blue line for a breakaway and beat Stingrays goaltender Ryan Zapolski (L, 36 saves on 39 shots) under the right pad. The Stingrays responded at 14:49 with a tally from forward Jay Silvia. Silvia caught a pass from forward Chris Langkow from out of the left-wing corner and slipped a shot under the blocker of netminder LouisDomingue (W, 16 saves on 18 shots). Forward Alden Hirschfeld picked up the second assist.
In the third period, the Gladiators reclaimed the lead behind a power-play marker from rookie Evan Bloodoff at 9:57, but the Stingrays knotted the contest back up with defenseman Derek Foam's first goal of the postseason at 9:57 with help from Button and Langkow. With 16 seconds left in the contest and moments after defenseman Cody Brookwell nearly tipped the puck in his own goal, Gwinnett's Joey Haddad buried the game-winning tally. The Stingrays finished the contest 0-for-3 on the power play while the Gladiators went 0-for-2.
The series moves to the North Charleston Coliseum for Game 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) on Wednesday, April 10, Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 at 7:05 p.m.
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