Posted: Tuesday, January 7th 2014 at 9:56pm
Gladiators prevail despite short bench
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. -– Despite skating two men short, the Gwinnett Gladiators pulled out a gutsy 2-1 win against the South Carolina Stingrays Tuesday night at North Charleston Coliseum.
Joey Haddad scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the third, and Brad Phillips made 29 saves to backstop the Gladiators (13-19-0-2) to their third win in a row. The team has now prevailed in six of its last eight games.
Forwards Alex Belzile, Marshall Everson, and Bobby Hughes missed thegame with injuries, Evan Bloodoff was out on bereavement leave, and defensemen Rob Kwiet and Justin Weller also missed the game with injuries but Gwinnettpersevered.
Up 1-0 in the third, Haddad took a feed from Dirk Southern down the left wing side and wristed a shot from the high far circle under the blocker of David LeNeveu. Brian Elser had the second assist on Haddad’s fifth goal of the season.
The Stingrays (24-7-1-2) bounced back to make a game of it 38 seconds later. Wayne Simpson beat Phillips from in close to cut the Gladiators lead in half, snapping Phillips’ five period-plus shutout streak against the Rays.
Gwinnett was able to hang on though, and handed the East-leading Rays just their fifth loss in their last 19 games. Four of those losses came against the Gladiators.
While there were no goals through the first period, Coyotes prospectBrenden Walker gave the Gladiators an edge late in the second. The forward broke in over the right wing side, blew by everybody, and put a backhander over LeNeveu for a 1-0 Gwinnett lead at 16:56. Kurtis Bartliff and Jonathan Narbonne had the helpers.
The Gladiators are now 10-0 when leading after two periods this season, and set their sights on two home matchups against the Orlando Solar Bears this weekend. The first matchup between the two sides is set for Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
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