Posted: Monday, March 17th 2014 at 10:45pm
Gladiators pull away from Elmira, 5-1
By staff reports
ELMIRA, N.Y. –- The Gwinnett Gladiators leapt out to an early lead, and pulled away in the third Monday night in a 5-1 win over the Elmira Jackals at First Arena.
Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored twice, while Mike Merrifield had a goal and two assists. Mark Guggenberger made 18 saves to improve to 6-2 as a Gladiator, while Scott Greenham turned aside 36 shots in a losing cause for Elmira.
The Gladiators (25-32-3-2) jumped on the Jackals (22-31-3-5) early, as Pierro-Zabotel buried a loose puck in the low slot just 50 seconds in the game. Seidel picked up his first point as a Gladiator with one of the two assists; Joey Haddad had the other one.
Just under the five minute mark, Merrifield extended the lead with his first goal as a Gladiator, tapping the puck in from the low slot similar to how Pierro-Zabotel scored minutes earlier. Maxime Legault and Eriks Sevcenko had the helpers
Greenham kept the Jackals in the game despite a bevy of Gwinnett scoring chances through the second period. Gwinnett outshot Elmira 13-4 in the first, 15-8 in the second, and 41-19 in the game. In the third, Mike Vaskivuo made a game of it 6:56 in, beating Guggenberger on a wraparound by tucking the puck in off the goaltender on the far post.
Gwinnett answered nearly six minutes later. After Guggenberger turned aside a three-on-two rush for the Jackals, Pierro-Zabotel took an outlet down the left wing wall in for a breakaway. The forward faked far side, and slid the puck around a sprawling Greenham just inside the near post for a 3-1 Gladiators lead.
Legault added to the lead at 17:12, taking a rebound of a Merrifield shot from the near goal line and putting a shot off Greenham and in. Mike Seidel put an exclamation point on the night, blasting a one-timer in at 19:32 for his first tally in a Gwinnett sweater. Merrifield and Josh Currie set the play up.
Gwinnett’s next game is Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. In Reading against the defending Kelly Cup Champion Royals.
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