Gladiators Weekly

Atlanta Gladiators

April 7, 2008 - ECHL (ECHL) - Atlanta Gladiators

News Release

Into Second! The Gladiators posted their second best regular season point total this season finishing the year with 93 points after posting a 4-1 win over Charlotte on April 5th. Gwinnett finished with 107 points during the 2005-06 season while the Gladiators advanced to the Western Conference Finals during the 2003-04 season when the team finished with 92 points during the regular season. The Gladiators 93 points posted this season moves Gwinnett into second place for most points by the team during the regular season. The Gladiators also finished the 2007-08 season with 44 wins, good for the Gladiators second best regular season wins total all time. Both totals are also good for second all time including the Gladiators time in Mobile.

To the Playoffs! With Saturday's 4-1 win over the Charlotte Checkers, the Gladiators finally determined who they will face in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Gwinnett will face the Charlotte Checkers in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs with the series starting with Game 1 on Tuesday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center at 7:05 p.m. Gwinnett will host Game 2 of the series as well as Game 5, if necessary. Game 3 and Game 4, if necessary, will be in Charlotte.

#3 Gwinnett vs. #6 Charlotte Game 1: Tues., April 8 @ Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m. Game 2: Thurs., April 10 @ Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m. Game 3: Sat., April 12 @ Charlotte , 7:00 p.m. Game 4: Mon., April 14 @ Charlotte, 7:30 p.m. (if necessary) Game 5: Tues., April 15 @ Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)

A Sportsman! Gladiators forward Jeff Campbell was named the ECHL Sportsman of the Year on Saturday. Campbell becomes the second player on Gwinnett to win the award as Kris Goodjohn was named the ECHL Sportsman of the year during the Gladiators inaugural 2003-04 season. Campbell was named to the All-ECHL First team and was the ECHL's Most Valuable Player for the 2005-06 season as well as earning All-Rookie honors in 2004-05. The award is presented annually to the player who is judged to have exhibited the best sportsmanship combined with a high standard of playing ability. ECHL coaches vote on the player who most deserves the award.

That's a Record! Despite dropping the 5-3 decision to the Charlotte Checkers on Tuesday night, goalie Craig Kowalski set a new career best for saves in a contest and also set a Gladiators record for saves in a contest. Kowalski stopped 53 shots in the contest. Kowalski's previous career high was 48 saves, set on November 23rd of this season in a 5-3 win at South Carolina. Kowalski's save total also betters the previous Gladiators record of 49 set by Dan Turple on January 2 of this year in a 3-2 win at Columbia. The record is just a part of the best season of Kowalski's career, his 0.923 save percentage and 2.33 goals against average would both be season highs and the 29 wins that he has already posted ties a career high. All three numbers put him in second place all-time in the Gladiators record book.

League Honors! The ECHL announced Friday that three Gladiators have been named to the All-ECHL team. Jeff Campbell was named to the All-ECHL First Team and Jamie Milam and Craig Kowalski made the All-ECHL second team. Campbell has 90 points on the year on 25 goals and 65 assists to lead Gwinnett in scoring. He is also second in the ECHL in scoring and assists. Milam leads Gwinnett bluliners in scoring with 52 points and is second in the ECHL in scoring among defensemen. Kowalski has a league-leading 29 wins this season and is in the top five in goals against average (2.33) and save percentage (0.923). Campbell was named to the All-ECHL First team and was the ECHL's Most Valuable Player for the 2005-06 season as well as earning All-Rookie honors in 2004-05. Milam was named to the ECHL All-Rookie team last season.

At 100! With 13 goals and 41 assists this season, defenseman Jamie Milam notched his 100th point with the Gladiators on Saturday night. Milam collected a pair of assists for Gwinnett in the Gladiators 4-1 win over the Charlotte Checkers. Milam, tallied 22 goals and 25 assists for Gwinnett last year in his rookie season. The Gladiators blue-liner earned his first trip to the ECHL All-Star game this season where he won the hardest shot contest, posting a 99.3 mph slap shot.

Last Week's Games: Tuesday, April 1st, Charlotte 5, Gwinnett 3 - L The Gladiators stormed out to a 3-0 lead on the Checkers with three goals in the first 3:15 of the contest but could not hold on in the 5-3 loss. Brad Schell scored just 22 seconds into the first period while Bryson Busniuk notched the Gladiators second goal at 2:21 of the opening period. Just 61 seconds later, Jeff Campbell gave the Gladiators a 3-0 lead. Charlotte then scored five unanswered goals for the win. Charlotte scored twice before the end of the first period to cut the lead to 3-2 while posting the only second period goal to tie the game at three. The checkers scored the game winner with a little over 6 minutes left in the third period and added an empty net goal with 2 seconds left to cap the win. Craig Kowalski set a new Gladiators team record notching 53 saves in the losing effort for Gwinnett.

Friday, April 4th, Columbia 5, Gwinnett 2 - L Columbia opened up a 5-0 lead on the Gladiators with a pair of goals in the first and second periods as well as a lone marker in the third before Gwinnett got on the board. Chad Painchaud\'s 8th goal of the season snapped Columbia\'s shutout bid at 5:01 of the third period. Gwinnett cut the Columbia lead to three goals just 31 seconds later on Matt Anderson\'s 14th goal of the year. Joe Grimaldi had an assist on both goals while Anderson and Panchaud assisted on each others marker. Both teams went 0-for-6 on the power play in the contest. Dan Turple finished with 27 saves in the loss.

Saturday, April 5th, Gwinnett 4, Charlotte 1 - W The Gladiators finished the 2007-08 regular season with a 4-1 win over the Charlotte Checkers. Gwinnett jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Bryson Busniuk just 1:10 into the first period. Charlotte ansered to tie the game at 1-1, but Andy Brandt notched his 18th goal of the season to regain the lead for Gwinnett. Jeff Campbell pushed the Gladiators lead to 3-1 at 12:31 of the first period on power play. Brad Schell extended the Gladiators lead to 4-1 just 37 seconds into the second period. Neither team would score again as Gwinnett held on for the 4-1 win. Jamie Milam notched his 100th point as a Gladiator, an assist, in the win while he finished the contest with a pair of helpers. Jon Sitko, Chad Painchaud, Busniuk, Brandt and Schell also had helpers for the Gladiators in the victory. Dan Turple made 34 saves in the win for Gwinnett.

This Week's Games - South Division Quarterfinals #3 Gwinnett vs. #6 Charlotte Game 1: Tues., April 8 @ Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m. Game 2: Thurs., April 10 @ Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m. Game 3: Sat., April 12 @ Charlotte , 7:00 p.m. Game 4: Mon., April 14 @ Charlotte, 7:30 p.m. (if necessary) Game 5: Tues., April 15 @ Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)

The Gladiators face the Charlotte Checkers for the second time in team history in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Charlotte won the first playoff series between the two clubs defeating Gwinnett in the 2005 Kelly Cup Playoffs 3 games to 1 in the South Division Semi-Finals. The Gladiators won the season series this year posting a 5-3-1 record against the Checkers. Gwinnett finished 3-1-0 against Charlotte this season at the Arena at Gwinnett Center while the Gladiators were 2-2-1 this season in Charlotte. Jeff Campbell led the Gladiators in scoring against the Chekers posting 3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points. Mike Hamilton, Andy Brandt and Lou Dickenson all finshed with 8 points for Gwinnett in the series. Turple went 4-1-1 against the Checkers to lead Gwinnett netminders. Blake Bellefeuille and Chris Capraro each finished with 8 points both from 4 goals and 4 assists to pace the Checkers against the Gladiators this season.

This Week\'s Practice Schedule: Practices at the IceForum in Duluth are open to the general public. Arena at Gwinnett Center practices are not open to the general public. Media members wishing to attend practice at the Arena should contact the Gladiators PR staff at 770-497-5106 to facilitate building access. Monday: 12:40 - 2 p.m., Ice Forum, Duluth Tuesday: Game vs. Charlotte Wednesday: 12:40 - 2 p.m., Ice Forum, Duluth Thursday: Game vs. Charlotte Friday: 12:40 - 2 p.m., Ice Forum, Duluth Saturday: Game @ Charlotte Sunday: 11 a.m. - 12:30, Arena at Gwinnett Center

The Gladiators continue their fifth anniversary season with Game 1 of the 2008 Kelly Cup Playoffs on Tuesday, April 8th as they host the Charlotte Checkers at the Arena at Gwinnett Center at 7:05 p.m. Catch all the play-by-play action in Tuesaday\'s game online via Accessnorthga.com.

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary as the Premier \'AA\' Hockey League in 2007-08, the ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in three states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league that has 25 teams in 17 states and British Columbia in 2007-08. The 25 teams includes the Mississippi (Biloxi) Sea Wolves, who return after missing two seasons in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the expansion Elmira (N.Y.) Jackals. The ECHL will play 900 games beginning Oct. 18 and concluding Apr. 5.

The Gwinnett Gladiators continue their fifth season as a proud member of the ECHL - season ticket packages are on sale now. In addition, the Gladiators offer several unique multi-game ticket packages as well as discounted group rates, suite rentals, and birthday parties. For more information call 770-497-5100 or log on to gwinnettgladiators.com

The Gladiators are the AA affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers and play all home games at the spectacular 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, where parking is always free.

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