The Atlanta Gladiators maintained their perfect record (6-0-0-0) with a 4-2 win over the South Carolina Stingrays (3-3-1-0) at Gas South Arena in Duluth, Georgia, on Sunday afternoon.
The action began with South Carolina taking an early lead in the first period, as Kevin O'Neil scored with a top-corner shot (3:46). Michael Marchesan responded for Atlanta, scoring his first professional goal by beating goaltender Bjorklund between the legs (11:26).
Late in the first period, the Stingrays regained the lead with a power-play goal from Patrick Harper, who deflected a point shot past goaltender Grigals (19:28). Atlanta's Reece Vitelli then leveled the game early in the second period, receiving an off-the-boards pass from Mitch Fossier and finishing with a beautiful breakaway backhander (2:59).
The score remained tied until the opening minute of the third period, where Jack Matier secured the Gladiators' first lead (00:26). Matier continued to shine, scoring again shortly thereafter from a similar play, doubling Atlanta's advantage (4:15).
In goal, Gustavs Grigals made an impressive 39 saves on 41 Stingray shots, while Garin Bjorklund stopped 25 of 29 for South Carolina. The victory solidifies the Gladiators' undefeated start to the season.
The standout performances of the game were recognized with three stars:
- First Star: Jack Matier (ATL) - 2 goals, +3
- Second Star: Michael Marchesan (ATL) - 1 goal, +2
- Third Star: Gustavs Grigals (ATL) - 39 saves
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.