Thursday January 21st, 2021 6:40AM

Gladiators skate by Stingrays, 4-1

By Dustin Bixby
DULUTH - Dan Turple posted 23 saves while Lou Dickenson posted three assists to help the Gladiators to a 4-1 win over the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday night at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Gwinnett continues its best start in team history, improving to 9-1-1 with with win.

The Gladiators and the Stingrays skated to a scoreless tie through the first period. Gwinnett out shot the Stingrays by a 16-5 margin as Turple and Stingrays netminder Josh Johnson stood tall for their respective club in the opening stanza.

Bryson Busniuk's first marker of the season broke a scoreless tie in the second period. Busniuk found a loose puck in the right wing circle and ripped a slapshot over the shoulder of Johnson for the marker. Lou Dickenson and Andy Brandt collected the assists on the power play goal for Gwinnett. The marker came at the 13:56 mark of the period.

Gwinnett took a 2-0 lead on Jon Awe's second goal of the season. Awe beat Johnson on a one-timer from the high slot with 2:42 left in the second peirod. Derek Nesbitt collected an assist on the power play goal as he set up Awe on the one-timer. Dickenson collected his second assist of the night on the marker.

South Carolina snapped Turple's shutout bid 6:18 into the third period on a marker by Travis Morin. Morin was able to jam a bouncing puck past Turple for the marker.

Andy Brandt added an insurance marker for the Gladiators late in the third period. Finding a rebound in the slot, Brandt flicked the puck past Johnson for the tally with 1:12 left in the contest. Brandt's goal came with just one second left on the power play. Dickenson posted his third assist of the game on the marker, while Mike Vigilante also had a helper on the goal for Gwinnett.

Myles Stoesz collected his first goal of the season as he posted an empty netter for Gwinnett with six seconds left in the third period. Stoesz dumped the puck from the Gladiators blueline on the backhand all the way down the length of the ice for the unassisted empty net goal to round out the scoring.

Gwinnett finshed 3-for-6 on the power play while keeping the Stingrays off the board on the man advantage on just three chances in the contest.

The Gladiators continue their fifth anniversary season on Tuesday, November 20th as they host the Elmira Jackals at the Arena at Gwinnett Center at 7:05 p.m. Catch all the play-by-play action in Tuesday's game via Accessnorthga.com audio stream Channel 3.

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary as the Premier 'AA' Hockey League in 2007-08, the ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in three states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league that has 25 teams in 17 states and British Columbia in 2007-08. The 25 teams includes the Mississippi (Biloxi) Sea Wolves, who return after missing two seasons in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the expansion Elmira (N.Y.) Jackals. The ECHL will play 900 games beginning Oct. 18 and concluding Apr. 5.

The Gwinnett Gladiators continue their fifth season as a proud member of the ECHL - season ticket packages are on sale now. In addition, the Gladiators offer several unique multi-game ticket packages as well as discounted group rates, suite rentals, and birthday parties. For more information call 770-497-5100 or log on to gwinnettgladiators.com.

The Gladiators are the AA affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers and play all home games at the spectacular 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, where parking is always free.
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