Posted: Friday, April 12th 2013 at 10:07pm
Gwinnett Sweeps South Carolina With 4-3 Game 4 Win
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Two Coyotes prospects led the way Friday night, as Evan Bloodoff scored the game-winning goal and Louis Domingue made 40 saves to backstop Gwinnett to a 4-3 Game 4 win over the South Carolina Stingrays at North Charleston Coliseum. The win helped Gwinnett sweep the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series, avenging a playoff loss to the Rays last season.
After South Carolina scored two straight power play goals in the second period to tie the game, Gwinnett responded decisively before the period was through.
Forward Joey Haddad jumped out of the penalty box and took an outlet breakaway pass from Casey Pierro-Zabotel, faking out Jakaitis and lifting the puck high to the near side for a 3-2 Gladiators lead at 13:58.
1:15 later Coyotes prospect Evan Bloodoff took a pass from Pierro-Zabotel and rifled it over the left shoulder of Jeff Jakaitis from the high slot, lifting Gwinnett to a 4-2 lead at the break.
South Carolina cut its deficit to one with an Andrew Cherniwchan goal at 16:51 of the third, but the Gladiators survived a frantic final 90 seconds, and finished off the Stingrays with the four-game sweep.
Louis Domingue made several fabulous stops down the stretch to preserve the lead, finishing with 40 saves. Former Gladiator Jeff Jakaitis made 26 stops for the Stingrays.
The sweep was the third in Gladiators playoff history. The team’s last playoff series win came back in 2008 with a first round sweep of the Charlotte Checkers.
Gwinnett advances to the Eastern Conference Semifinals and will face either Cincinnati or Toledo. Regardless, Game 1 will be Friday April 19th at 7:35 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center
Gwinnett jumped on the Rays in the opening period. Just 3:53 into the game Ryan Ginand broke in down the right wing and beat Jakaitis with a shot low blocker side just inside the far post. Tyler Murovich and Domenic Monardo assisted, and the Gladiators weren’t done.
With only 30 seconds remaining in the period, Sacha Guimond ripped a shot from the far point past Jakaitis on the power play to make it a 2-0 games. Dallas Jackson and Doug Jones assisted.
The Stingrays drew even in the middle period thanks to their man advantage, as Robbie Dee (11:12) and Peter Boyd (11:51) buried two goals just 39 seconds apart to tie it.
Link: Offical website of the Gwinnett Gladiators
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