The Gwinnett Gladiators downed the Evansville IceMen by a 5-2 count Sunday afternoon at the Ford Center in ECHL action in the final game of a five-game road trip. The win gives Gwinnett a 4-1 record on the trip that included four games in five days.
Gladiators defenseman Dallas Jackson started the scoring, snapping a shot over the right shoulder of Evansville goalie Rob Madore from the far circle at 5:15 with Chris Clackson assisting. Evansville answered quickly, as Daniel Tetrault put a one-timer from in close past Ryan Zapolski to tie the game 33 seconds later.
The only goal of the second period came on a Gladiators power play. Gwinnett had one shot stopped by Madore, another blocked by a sliding defenseman in the crease, but it was Clackson that put in the rebound for a 2-1 Gladiators lead at 15:17. Casey Pierro-Zabotel picked up the assist, and Gwinnett carried the lead into the third.
Early in the period, Christian Ouellet pushed the Gladiators lead to 3-1 to give Gwinnett some breathing room. The forward scooped the puck off the near boards, worked his way to the crease and tucked the puck inside the far post.
Doug Jones increased the lead to three goals with a snap shot from the far circle at 6:56 with Pierro-Zabotel assisting. Jones started play Sunday tied for the ECHL lead in rookie scoring. Evansville pulled to within two at 15:13 with a power play goal from Josh Beaulieu, but a Tyler Murovich empty-netter courtesy of Evan Bloodoff and Ryan Donald sealed the 5-2 Gladiators win.
Zapolski stopped 29 of 31 shots in his first start of the season, while Madore (23 saves) took the loss for Evansville.
Gwinnett was 1-for-7 on the power play and totaled 20 penalty minutes on 10 infractions, while Evansville was 1-for-8, and racked up 51 penalty minutes on 12 infractions.
Evansville (0-6-1-0) remains winless on the season, while Gwinnett improves to 4-3-1-0 after going winless in their first three contests.
Stars of the Game:
GWT- Chris Clackson
GWT – Casey Pierro-Zabotel
GWT- Tyler Murovich
Gwinnett returns home for its next game against the Orlando Solar Bears on Thursday, November 1st at 7:05 p.m.
The Gladiators are the ECHL Affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League and are members of the ECHL, the Premier “AA” Hockey League and play all home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.
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