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Gladiators fall in defensive battle

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Maxime Legault put the Gwinnett Gladiators ahead in the first period, but South Carolina prevailed 2-1 in a defensive battle Sunday afternoon at North Charleston Coliseum.

Former Gladiator Chad Painchaud scored what proved to be the game-winner for South Carolina (10-1-1-1) in the second period, and former Gwinnett goaltender Jeff Jakaitis made 26 saves for the Rays. Gladiators (4-10) goalie Peter Delmas took the loss making 27 stops.

Gwinnett drew first blood 15:56 into the first on the man advantage, with Legault burying a rebound off from the far circle off a Marshall Everson shot. Brenden Walker also had an assist, but the lead was short-lived.

The first pro goal for Rays forward Wayne Simpson with 58 seconds left in the first didn’t come without controversy. Scott Campbell had a chance from in close that was stopped by Peter Delmas, but the forward barreled over the Gwinnett goaltender as the puck went in.

Painchaud scored the lone goal of the second for South Carolina, and despite a few chances in the final stanza the Gladiators couldn’t solve Jakaitis.

The same two teams meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at North Charleston Coliseum. The next home game for Gwinnett is Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.