Forward Wayne Simpson scored two goals and goaltender Jeff Jakaits made 20 saves for his sixth-straight victory as the South Carolina Stingrays (18-4-1-2) defeated the Gwinnett Gladiators (7-16-0-1) 4-2 at The Arena at Gwinnett Center Friday night.
Simpson kicked off the scoring 7:35 into the first period burying his sixth goal of the season past Gladiators netminder Paul Karpowich (L, 22 saves on 26 shots). Defenseman Luka Vidmar and forward Igor Gongalsky earned assists. The Gladiators responded on the power play at 11:06 when forward Evan Bloodoff deflected a blast from defenseman Rob Kwiet past the glove of Jakaitis. Forward Patrick Gaul reclaimed the lead for the Stingrays with 47 seconds remaining in the frame knocking in a rebound off Karpowich's right pad. Forwards Paul Rodrigues and Peter Boyd added assists.
Forward Lindsay Sparks gave the Stingrays a two-goal advantage at 4:39 of second period tapping in a rebound off a drive from defenseman Steve Spinell. Forward Kyle Bodie picked up the second assist.
In the final period, Simpson made it 4-1 with his second goal of the game at 15:20 with help from Boyd and Gaul. Bloodoff grabbed a late tally for the Gladiators at 18:17 to complete the game scoring. The Stingrays finished the contest 0-for-1 on the power play while the Gladiators went 1-for-2.
The Stingrays host the Gladiators tomorrow, Saturday, December 21 at 7:05 at the North Charleston Coliseum! Celebrate the Holidays with the Stingrays!