Gladiators schooled by Stingrays

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Despite 31 saves from Dan Turple, the Gwinnett Gladiators were shutout for the second time in the last month.

They were routed 5-0 by surging South Carolina on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.

The Stingrays (28-14-2) expanded their division lead over the third-place Gladiators (25-13-4) to four points with the win. The two teams travel to the Arena at Gwinnett Center today for a 7:35 p.m. rematch.

It was the second straight loss for the Gladiators.

South Carolina exploded for three goals in the second period and iced the win with two more in the third.

The Stingrays' second goal came on the power play after Gwinnett was caught with too many men on the ice. It's the kind of unnecessary penalty that head coach Jeff Pyle has harped on the team about eliminating for weeks now.

South Carolina pushed its lead to 3-0 with less than a second remaining in the period. After the puck bounced off an official in the neutral zone, Paul McIlveen picked up the loose puck, and flew into the Gladiators zone, ripping a shot wide of the Gwinnett net. Mike Gabinet picked up the rebound off the back dasher board and whipped the puck past Turple with 0.2 seconds left.

Things did not improve for the Gladiators, who were playing their first game without leading goal scorer Lou Dickenson, in the third period.

Gwinnett failed to light the lamp for the second time in 2008. The Gladiators dropped a 1-0 decision to Mississippi on Jan. 5.