The Atlanta Gladiators continued their impressive start to the season with a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory against the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday evening at North Charleston Coliseum. This marked their seventh consecutive win, maintaining an undefeated record at 7-0-0-0.
Atlanta took the lead in the early stages, with Ryan Cranford netting his first professional goal at 6:37 in the first period. Michael Marchesan's cross-crease feed set up Cranford for the game's opening marker. The goaltenders on both sides, Tyler Harmon for Atlanta and Garin Bjorklund for South Carolina, showcased stellar performances, ensuring the score remained 1-0 heading into the final period.
The third period witnessed a fierce battle between the teams, with Harmon making a spectacular save to thwart a potential breakaway by the Stingrays. However, South Carolina broke Harmon's shutout bid late in the third period, leveling the score at 1-1 and forcing the game into overtime.
Four minutes into the overtime period, Luke Prokop secured the victory for Atlanta with his second goal of the season. Mitch Fossier's shot took an unexpected bounce in front of the Stingrays' net, and Prokop seized the opportunity to knock it home, sealing the 2-1 win for the Gladiators.
Tyler Harmon's exceptional goaltending played a crucial role in the victory, making 40 saves on 41 shots. On the other side, Garin Bjorklund faced 23 shots and allowed two goals in the hard-fought loss for South Carolina. The Gladiators' stellar performance and Prokop's overtime heroics extended their winning streak and solidified their undefeated status early in the season.
This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a new writer on the MTMV Sports platform. I am a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, dog mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow my writings as I dive into the latest sports news! You can find me on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.