NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Casey Pierro-Zabotel buried the overtime winner and the Gwinnett Gladiators mounted a late comeback to beat the South Carolina Stingrays 3-2 on Saturday night at North Charleston Coliseum.
Trailing 2-1 late in the third, Tyler Murovich took a centering pass from Pierro-Zabotel and beat former Gladiator goalie Jeff Jakaitis through the five-hole on a one-timer to tie the game with 21.7 seconds left. Doug Jones had the second assist on Murovich's seventh goal of the season.
The Gladiators' leading scorer ended it 3:21 into the extra period. Off a Pierro-Zabotel faceoff win, defenseman Cody Brookwell blasted a shot from the far point. Jakaitis made the save, but the rebound shot off his chest and fell in front of Pierro-Zabotel, who slapped in for the win.
South Carolina (13-13-2-3) is now 10-0-1 when leading after two periods, while the Gladiators (19-7-1-0) improve to 17-0-1 when scoring first.
Louis Domingue won his eighth start in a row for Gwinnett, making 20 saves.
Jakaitis took the loss in his second start with the Rays, turning aside 30 shots.
Gwinnett remains in first in both the South Division and Eastern Conference with 39 points.
Evan Bloodoff drew first blood in the first, taking his own rebound from the near side and tucking it past Jakaitis to put the Gladiators up at 12:37.
The Rays quickly got even. Just 1:59 later, Matt Pistilli netted a power-play tally to even the game at 1-1.
South Carolina took its first lead with only 0.7 seconds left in the second period. A shot from the point was blocked in front of the Gwinnett goal, and Andrew Cherniwchan tucked it past Domingue.
The Gladiators wrap up the weekend in Greenville at 4 p.m. today.