Ricci leads 'Rays past Gladiators

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Rob Ricci stole the show Tuesday night at North Charleston Coliseum, picking up a hat trick en route to a 4-1 Stingrays win over the Gwinnett Gladiators.

The Gladiators (14-17-5) are now 0-14-4 when trailing after two periods, and have just two wins in their last 16 games.

Luke Popko buried a rebound past Gwinnett goaltender Edward Pasquale 7:51 into the first to give the ’Rays (18-14-2) a 1-0 lead.

Ricci’s power-play tally at 13:05 made it 2-0, but Gwinnett quickly answered.

Just 1:57 after Ricci’s goal, Tim Miller’s 13th of the season on the power play from Andy Brandt and Mike Forney cut the deficit in half.

After a back and forth, scoreless second period Ricci finished the job in the third. He scored twice, once at 6:34 and an empty-netter at 18:52 to cap the hat trick.

The Gladiators, who play in Greenville on Thursday, were outshot 32-23 in the loss.