DULUTH -- Two massive Antoine Corbin blasts were the difference on Thursday night at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, as the Gwinnett Gladiators knocked off the South Carolina Stingrays 3-2 in the third straight match between the two squads.
Brad Phillips was stellar between the pipes for Gwinnett (8-17-0-2), earning his first win with the team making 22 saves. David LeNeveu made 26 stops in a losing cause for the Stingrays (19-5-1-2), who dropped just their third game in their past 12.
Gwinnett started strong in the first, registering the first five shots of the match and scoring the first goal at 3:19 when Kurtis Bartliff redirected a shot in on LeNeveu for his team-leading tenth goal of the season. Maxime Legault and Bobby Hughes picked up assists on the goal.
Despite an early second period goal from the Stingrays at 2:18 on a one-timer from Lindsay Sparks, the Gladiators dominated the early going of the second, outshooting the Rays 11-to-1 at one point. Immediately following a 5-on-3 advantage, Corbin broke the 1-1 tie at 5:35 with a hard slapshot from the top of the zone with just a few seconds remaining on the power play. Joey Haddad and Bartliff had assists on the play.
The Rays again struck early in a period to tie the game; this time it was a Paul Rodrigues power play goal pulling South Carolina even at 2-2 a little over four minutes into the period. However, Corbin again had an answer for the Gladiators.
Josh Currie broke into the Stingrays zone, dropping a pass for another Phoenix Coyotes prospect in Brenden Walker. Walker then fed a pass to the high slot that Corbin blew past LeNeveu at 12:49 to put the Gladiators ahead for good at 3-2.
Gwinnett is next in action Friday night, as they host the Wheeling Nailers at 6:05 p.m.
The Gladiators have one final game at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in the 2013 calendar year, when they host the Wheeling Nailers on December 27th at 6:05 P.M. for their 11th annual Winter Coat Drive. To purchase tickets, please visit www.gwinnettgladiators.com or call the front office at 770-497-5100.
The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation's premier "AA" hockey league and are affiliated with the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.