Posted: Thursday, October 31st 2013 at 1:13am
Guimond guides Gladiators to first win
DULUTH -– Just a few hours after receiving Sacha Guimond from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League to help out with the defense, it was Guimond’s offense that gave the Gwinnett Gladiators their first win of the season.
After a back and forth 65 minutes of play, the Gladiators (1-4-0-0) and the Orlando Solar Bears (2-3-0-1), who had beaten Gwinnett in the two gamesplayed over the weekend, found themselves tied at three, heading to the shootout. Mathew Sisca put the Gladiators on the ropes after scoring in thethird round, but it was Evan Bloodoff who kept the shootout alive by beating Christopher Gibson in the fifth, and potentially final, round.
Two rounds later, Guimond pulled a couple quick dekes and tucked thepuck around Gibson, giving the Gladiators their first win under new head coach Rick Emmett.
The game was brought into a scoreless overtime period following a wild third period which saw some Gwinnett history. Just 1:23 into the period, Maxime Legault rifled in his first career ECHL goal on the power play to give Gwinnett a 2-1 lead. Then, just six seconds later, Philippe Halley stormed through the offensive zone to push another past Gibson, which broke the record for the fastest two goals in Gladiator history by two seconds. The eight second record had been achieved three times in the past ten seasons, most recently by current assistant coach, Andy Brandt, and former Gladiator Stuart MacRae back in 2008.
C.J. Severyn later scored his eighth point of the season at 5:54, followed by Orlando’s game-tying goal from Jacob Lagace at 8:50 of the 3rd.
The Gladiators struck first on the evening, as Coyotes prospect JoshCurrie buried his first pro goal on a point blank one-timer from the low slot at 6:07 of the opening period. Legault and Joey Haddad had the assists, butOrlando would answer before the period was through.
Zach Harrison got one past Gladiators starting goaltender Chris Rawlings from in-close on at the 11:16 marker, which drew the game even through 20 minutes.
Orlando was able to outshoot Gwinnett in the second period, 10-3, but Rawlings was able to get a piece of every shot and keep the score tied at one after the first 40 minutes. Rawlings was given the start after his usual battery mate, Louis Domingue was called up to Portland of the AHL earlier in the day. Rawlings finished the game making 32 saves on 35 shots faced, and then made six saves on seven shootout attempts. Gibson was 22-for-25 on saves, and 5-of-7 in the shootout.
Gwinnett will next face South Carolina for the first time in the regular season, playing three games in three days. The first two matches will be at the North Charleston Coliseum, with the rubber match at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, please visit www.gwinnettgladiators.com or call the front office at 707-497-5100
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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