DeBlois, Rowe lead way as Rays roll past Gladiators

Forward Derek DeBlois scored four goals and forward Andrew Rowe added four assists to guide South Carolina over Gwinnett, 6-3, on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum.

The Stingrays (20-18-1-6) kicked off the scoring with two goals in the game’s first 40 seconds. Forward Patrick Gaul knocked in his sixth goal of the season at the 26-second mark from forwards Tim Spencer and Andrew Ammon. Moments later, DeBlois tipped a pass from forward Braden Pimm past Gladiators netminder Adam Brown (27 saves, 33 shots). Team captain Andrew Rowe added the second assist.

The Gladiators (16-26-2-1) cut the lead in half at 12:04 when forward Will MacDonald completed a 2-on-1 rush with forward Travis Ouellette to beat Stingrays goalie Adam Morrison (18 saves, 21 shots) over the glove.

DeBlois reclaimed a two-goal lead on the power play 1:27 into the second period with help from defenseman Drew MacKenzie and Pimm, and completed the hat trick, also on the man-advantage, at 7:20 snapping a one-time pass from MacKenzie over the blocker of Brown from the left-wing circle. Rowe chipped in the second assist. Gladiators forward Garry Nunn made it 4-2 with a power-play goal at 12:52.

Nunn cut the lead to one at 6:01 of the final frame, but the Stingrays added two more tallies to put the game away. DeBlois buried his fourth goal from Rowe and MacKenzie at 9:03, followed by Ammon’s fifth goal of the season at 17:02 from Rowe and defenseman Marcus Perrier. The Stingrays finished 2 for 8 on the power play, while the Gladiators went 2 for 7.

The Stingrays hit the road for a 7 p.m. game at Greenville on Tuesday before returning home to host Gwinnett on Friday.