Stingrays Pick Up Point in Shootout Loss
DULUTH, GA – A shorthanded goal from Andrew Cherniwchan forced overtime and gave the South Carolina Stingrays (8-4-1-1) a point in a shootout loss to the Atlanta Gladiators (9-4-1-0) by a final score of 4-3 on Saturday night.
In a turn of events from Friday, the Stingrays and Gladiators netted three total goals in the first period beginning on Kaid Oliver’s third tally this year only 38 seconds into the opening period. Clay Stevenson made a save on Sanghoon Shin’s initial shot where Oliver poked the rebound past the Stingrays’ netminder for the 1-0 lead.
Alex Fortin returned to the Stingrays’ lineup by netting his third marker of the season nearly nine minutes later. Fortin skated around the attacking zone before banking a shot off a Gladiators’ defender from the top of the right circle to even the score at one goal apiece.
Before time expired in the opening frame, Noah Laaouan scored his second goal of the season to regain the one-goal lead for Atlanta. Laaouan received a pass at the right faceoff dot where the defenseman lifted the puck over Stevenson’s blocker for the 2-1 advantage to close out the first period.
South Carolina got one back on Carter Turnbull’s team-leading 11th tally of the season just under two minutes into the second period. Bear Hughes raced off the bench and kept a Gladiators’ clearing attempt onside where he fed Turnbull in front of the net for a cutback goal that tied the game at two goals.
Mike Pelech took back the lead for Atlanta with 37.7 seconds remaining in the middle frame with his fourth goal of the year. Pelech intercepted a Stingrays pass and flung the puck past Stevenson for the 3-2 advantage.
Midway through the final frame, Cherniwchan evened the score at three goals each with the Stingrays’ third shorthanded goal of the year. With under 12 minutes remaining in regulation, the South Carolina captain blocked a shot and was off to the races, sending a puck past Atlanta’s Tyler Parks for his second goal in the last two games.
After a scoreless overtime, the teams headed into a shootout where Jonny Evans gave the Stingrays a lead. Atlanta would go on to convert the final two shootout chances from Eric Neiley and Liam Kirk for the 4-3 final.
South Carolina’s Stevenson stopped 37 shots on the night while Parks made 38 saves in the contest. The Stingrays’ penalty kill shut down the top-ranked Gladiators’ power play by going a perfect 4-for-4 on the kill.
The Stingrays continue their 2022-23 campaign next Thursday, December 1st, against the Savannah Ghost Pirates at Enmarket Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m. This will be the first of three-straight games for South Carolina on the weekend.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.