Duluth, Ga. -- The South Carolina Stingrays nearly rallied from an early three-goal deficit before falling 4-2 to the Gwinnett Gladiators in front of 3,806 fans on Friday night.
The Stingrays (8-6-0-1) will get two more cracks at the Gladiators (8-3-2-1) this weekend with home games at the North Charleston Coliseum today and Sunday.
The Gladiators kicked off the scoring on the power play at the nine-minute mark of the opening period with defenseman Wil Colbert's first goal of the season blasting a shot from the left-wing point past Stingrays goaltender Daren Machesney. Forward Justin Milo and defenseman David Strathman earned the assists.
Gwinnett's Joey Haddad made it a two-goal lead with a man-advantage score at 18:29.
The Gladiators made it 3-0 early in the second with a goal from Tyler Murovich at 1:59.
Chris Higgins put the Stingrays on the board with his first goal of the season at 13:05, beating Billy Sauer. Moments later, Pierre-Luc O'Brien buried a shorthanded goal at 16:48 from David de Kastrozza and Johann Kroll to cut it to 3-2.
But Bryan Brutlag converted a power-play goal at 17:54 for the final margin.
Machesney had 16 saves on 20 shots for South Carolina, while Sauer had 17 saves on 19 shots for Gwinnett. The Stingrays finished the contest 0 for 4 on the power play, while the Gladiators went 3 for 6.
Todays' game is at 7 p.m., while Sunday's game is at 4.