Posted: Sunday, April 8th 2012 at 7:54pm
Gladiators' season comes to an end in playoff loss to Carolina
DULUTH -– The Gwinnett Gladiators dropped their second straight game to the South Carolina Stingrays 4-3 on Sunday in double overtime at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The Gladiators season comes to an end with the loss as the South Carolina Stingrays win the best of five series 3-games-to-1.
South Carolina broke the scoreless tie on their second power play of the game in the middle stanza. Forward Pierre-Luc O’Brien found Brett Fleming at the point. Fleming sent the puck through traffic and beat the Gladiators netminder Marc Cheverie to give the Stingrays a 1-0 lead at 4:35 into the second period.
The Gladiators answered the Stingrays at 13:36 of the second period. Defenseman Dallas Jackson sent the puck to the right wing for Nikita Kashisrky as he ripped a slap shot over the shoulder of Rob Mador to tie the game at one. Brian Brutlag had the other assist.
South Carolina capitalized on a turnover 29 seconds later and silenced the crowd with a marker from Maxime Lacroix to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.
The Gladiators responded and tied the game at one late in the second period. Kashirsky picked up an outlet pass from Cheverie and danced through the defense and over the blue line before he beat Madore over the shoulder for his second goal of the game. Kashirsky’s marker came with 3:06 left in the second period.
The Stingrays jumped on the Gladiators early into the third period with a shot from Chris Higgins at the goal line. Higgins‘ one-timer beat Cheverie to give the Stingray a 3-2 advantage at 1:30 into the third period.
As the final minutes of the game ticked away, defenseman Will Colbert teed up at slapshot from the right wing circle and threaded the puck through traffic and past Madore to take the game into overtime with just 1:40 left in the final period. Dallas Jackson picked up his second helper. Andy Brandt had the other assist.
At 16:52 in double overtime, Lacroix ended the Gladiators season and lifted the Stingrays to the 4-3 victory. Lacroix notched four points in the win. Higgins and Daniel Koger each collected their second assists.
This was the first time in team history that the Gladiators did not win a playoff game on home ice.
Tickets for the 2012-13 season are on sale now. Get more information online at www.gwinnettgladiators.com.
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