North Charleston, S.C. - The South Carolina Stingrays erased a two-goal Gwinnett Gladiators lead, but eventually fell 4-3 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the North Charleston Coliseum Friday night. The Gladiators defeat the Stingrays in the best-of-seven series 4-0.
Gladiators forward Ryan Ginand kicked off the scoring early in the first period slipping a shot under the blocker of Stingrays goaltender Jeff Jakaitis (L, 26 saves on 30 shots) from the bottom of the right-wing circle at 3:53. Defenseman Sacha Guimond gave the Gladiators a two-goal lead on the power play with 31 seconds remaining in the period.
The Stingrays responded with two man-advantage markers midway through the second period to tie the contest 2-2. Forward Robby Dee put the Stingrays on the board at 11:12 tapping a loose puck past the left pad of Gladiators netminder Louis Domingue (W, 40 saves on 43 shots) of the near post. Forward Chris Langkow picked up the lone assist. Seconds later, forward Peter Boyd blasted in a rebound off a Kevin Quick shot from the left-wing point at 11:51. Winger Jay Silvia added the second assist.
At the 13:58 mark and on a 5-on-3 penalty kill, Gladiators forward Casey Pierro-Zabotel found forward Joey Haddad just out of the penalty box for a breakaway and Haddad capitalized with a backhanded shot over the blocker of Jakaitis for the shorthanded tally. Rookie Evan Bloodoff reclaimed a two-goal Gladiators edge at 15:13.
Forward Andrew Cherniwchan pulled the contest within one at 16:51 with help from forward Eric Alexander and defenseman Damon Kipp. With Jakaitis pulled for the extra skater, the Stingrays generated numerous chances in front of Domingue, but could not find the game-tying tally. The Stingrays finished the game 2-for-5 on the power play while the Gladiators went 1-for-1.