Stingrays fall to Gladiators

Forward Caleb Herbert scored twice, but the South Carolina Stingrays (17-12-1-4) fell to the Gwinnett Gladiators (11-19-1-1), 4-3, Saturday night at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.

The Gladiators kicked off the scoring with a shorthanded goal 6:05 into the contest as team captain Sean Berkstresser caught a pass from forward Casey Pierro-Zabotel and slipped a shot under Stingrays goaltender Jeff Jakaitis (23 saves on 27 shots).

Gladiators forward Will MacDonald made it 2-0 on the power play early in the second period, redirecting a drive from defenseman Joe Stejskal at 1:06. The Stingrays pulled within one at 10:56 when Herbert banked a shot under Gladiators netminder Adam Brown (34 saves on 37 shots). Forwards Rob Bellamy and Cody Sylvester grabbed assists. Moments later, the Gladiators reclaimed a two-goal advantage with a man-advantage marker from Stejskal at 13:27.

Hebert again made it a one-goal contest at 13:45 of the final frame with help from defenseman Wade Epp and forward Braden Pimm, but 37 seconds later Pierro-Zabotel found the back of the net for the Gladiators. Pimm ripped a shot over the glove of Brown shorthanded and unassisted at 17:41 to intensify the final moments. The Stingrays finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play while the Gladiators went 2-for-7.

The Stingrays close a three-game road trip at 3:05 Sunday against the Greenville Road Warriors at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.