The Atlanta Gladiators (6-4-0-1) scored in the final minute of the third period to force overtime and won the game with a power play goal at 2:04 of the extra session to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays (7-1-1-0) by a final score of 3-2 on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Nick Johnson and Joe Devin provided goals for the Stingrays in the contest, while goaltender Jeff Jakaitis made 29 saves for South Carolina in the loss.
Atlanta took the initial lead early on at 3:26 of the first period on a goal off a rebound in front by Luke Sandler and had a 1-0 advantage.
South Carolina then tied things up at 1-1 on a goal by Nick Johnson at 10:13 of the opening period. An initial shot by Joe Devin was saved by Atlanta netminder Dan Vladar but Johnson found the rebound in front of the net and poked it home for his fifth goal of the season. Forward Patrick Gaul also factored in on the play with the second assist.
Neither team was able to take control of the game in the middle stanza and the teams entered the third in a 1-1 deadlock before Joe Devin put South Carolina on top 2-1 with his fourth goal of the season just seven seconds into a power play advantage. Assists on the captain’s strike came from forwards Tim McGauley and Robbie Baillargeon.
But the Gladiators came back to tie things up at 2-2 with just 27 seconds left in regulation on a goal by Phil Lane that sent the teams to overtime.
A tripping penalty to Kelly Zajac in the extra frame gave Atlanta a power play opportunity and forward Thomas Frazee found the back of the net to win it for the Gladiators.
South Carolina finished the game 1-for-3 on the man-advantage, while Atlanta was 1-for-5 after the overtime winner. The Gladiators outshot the Stingrays 32-31 in the contest, with Vladar making 29 saves.
-per South Carolina Stingrays