Posted: Saturday, October 19th 2013 at 2:24am
Gladiators drop season opener, 5-3
DULUTH -– On the 11th season opener in Gladiators history, Gwinnett fell to their I-85 rivals, the Greenville Road Warriors, 5-3. Eight different Gladiators contributed their first points of the season, but it was Andrew Rowe’s hat trick that sealed the deal for the Road Warriors.
Gwinnett (0-1) was able to get on the board first thanks to an early Brenden Walker rebound goal at 4:50 in the first. Jeremie Malouin picked up the assist by getting the initial shot to Road Warriors goaltender Carson Chubak’s left side, and then Walker banked the puck over Chubak’s left shoulder.
Newly named Gladiators captain Joey Haddad doubled up the score at 10:18 in the first when he knocked down a Justin Weller shot from the right point. In traffic, Haddad deflected the shot down through the legs of Chubak from the low right faceoff circle.
From there, the Road Warriors (1-0) reeled off three straight goals, with a first period goal from Michael St. Croix, and two early second period goals from Andrew Rowe on the power play and Elgin Pearce.
It was Jonathan Narbonne’s game-tying power play goal at 15:00 of the second that got the Gladiators back into the game. Narbonne’s shot from the left point went through traffic unabated as Evan Bloodoff and Josh Currie picked up assists.
Rowe put the game out of reach with two more goals in the third, the first on a breakaway as Gwinnett’s third power play of the game was expiring, and the final goal as an empty-netter.
Starting goaltender Louis Domingue stopped 26 of 30 shots faced while Chubak stopped 20 of 23 for Greenville.
The two teams will face off again on Saturday, October 19th at 7:05 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Tickets can be purchased online at GwinnettGladiators.com.
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.
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