Stingrays advance to Eastern Conference Semifinals

Duluth, Ga. – Forward Maxime Lacroix scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to give the South Carolina Stingrays a 4-3 victory and 3-1 series win over the Gwinnett Gladiators in Game Four of the best-of-five Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at The Arena at Gwinnett Center Sunday afternoon.


After a scoreless first period, four goals found the twine in the second frame to send the Stingrays and Gladiators tied 2-2 into the second intermission. Stingrays defenseman Brett Flemming opened the scoring on the power play at 4:35 slipping a shot under the blocker of Gladiators goaltender Marc Cheverie from the right-wing circle. Forwards Pierre-Luc O’Brien and Lacroix earned assists. The Gladiators responded with a tally from former Stingray Nikita Kashirsky on the man advantage at 13:36 from defenseman Dallas Jackson and forward Bryan Brutlag.


Less than a minute later, Lacroix put the Stingrays back on top blasting a pass from forward Chris Higgins over the glove of Cheverie at 14:05. Kashirsky buried his second of the night at 16:54 while on the power play lifting a shot over the right shoulder of Stingrays netminder Rob Madore. Cheverie added the lone assist.


Higgins made it 3-2 at 1:30 of the final period from Lacroix and forward Daniel Koger. With 1:40 to play, the Gladiators knotted the game back up on a marker from defenseman Will Colbert with help from Jackson and forward Andy Brandt.


In double overtime, Higgins found Lacroix at the near pipe of Cheverie for the game-winning goal at 16:52. Koger grabbed the second assist. The Stingrays ended the afternoon 1-for-3 on the power play while the Gladiators went 2-for-4.


The Stingrays face the Kalamazoo Wings in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Friday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Wings Stadium.