DULUTH - On a night when the Gwinnett Gladiators dropped a pivotal 2-1 decision to division rival South Carolina, the major highlight for fans was Cam Brown's induction into the franchise's new Hall of Fame.
Brown, the Gladiators former captain turned assistant coach, was the first player so honored by the franchise. A banner with Brown's No. 44 was hung in the rafters of the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
The crowd and players gave Brown a standing ovation at the conclusion of a poignant first-intermission ceremony.
It was the only real celebration for Gwinnett until Chad Painchaud broke the shutout at 9:53 of the third period.
Painchaud, with the hot hand, knifed through two converging defenders and buried a wrist shot to cut South Carolina's two-goal margin in half.
Painchaud has five goals and two assists in his five games with the Gladiators since being assigned from AHL Chicago.
But that was the only puck Stingrays' goalie Davis Parley allowed by him as South Carolina moved into a tie with Gwinnett for second place in the ECHL South standings.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Gladiators (38-19-5), who travel to Columbia today as the regular season gets down to the nitty gritty.
"We didn't play well enough to win," Gwinnett head coach Jeff Pyle said curtly. "We didn't play smart enough. They played hard, they stopped and started, they did the little things well. They did did what they had to do. And we didn't.
"When there's no rhythm and there's no consistency, you're always going when you should be coming."
South Carolina capitalized on a defensive breakdown to score the first period's only goal 1:09 into the game.
All-Star blueliner Jamie Milam had position on a puck coming into the zone, but couldn't chip it out and then let Chris Chaput get by him to the outside. Chaput swept toward the net and lifted an impressive shot past Craig Kowalski's blocker for the 1-0 lead.
A power-play goal with two minutes left in the second period gave South Carolina a 2-0 lead. The Stingrays' leading scorer Travis Morin picked up his 31st goal of the season at 18:00.
Pyle didn't fell like the quick goal was what doomed the Gladiators.
"We've overcome that before," Pyle said. "Three-quarters of the guys in that room weren't ready to go today. For whatever reason."