December 6, 2010 - ECHL (ECHL) - Atlanta Gladiators
Top Three in the League! Despite three consecutive losses this past week, the Gladiators rank third overall in the ECHL with 28 points in 23 games this season. Gwinnett sits behind division foes Greenville, who has 33 points, and Florida, who has 30 points on the year. Greenville has now won seven in a row while Florida has a six-game winning streak going.
Forney's Still on Fire: Gladiators forward Mike Forney has been hot for the Gladiators lately as the Theif River Falls, Minnesota, native had at least a point in all three games last week (four in a row overall), putting him on the scoresheet in 14 of Gwinnett's last 17 games.
King Kong Krug: Second-year defenseman Matt Krug had a goal and an assist Friday against South Carolina and was even in plus minus the last three games for Gwinnett. His two points in Friday's contest is a season best for the defenseman who notched a career best four points on two occasions last season with Muskegon in the IHL on October 17th vs. Bloomington (one goal, three assists) and on January 3rd at Flint (two goals, two assists). His two point night with Gwinnett was his 10th multiple point game of his professional career.
Not Bad, Rookie: Forward Aaron Bendickson ranks ninth in points among rookies in the ECHL this season with 14 (four goals, ten assists) in 14 games. He has played at least six fewer games than all of the names above him on the leaderboard due to call up to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.
On the Power Play: The Gladiators notched a pair of power play goals in Friday's 4-2 loss to South Carolina and added another marker on the man advantage in Sunday's 5-1 loss to Greenville. The Gladiators have now posted at least one power play goal in each of the past four games. The Gladiators are 5-of-23 in that span converting on 21% of their power play chances.
Short Handed Star: Forward Tim Miller's two short handed goals put him in a tie for second in the ECHL along with former Gladiator Derek Nesbitt and six others.
Paq-Man Packs a Punch: Rookie forward and Thrashers prospect Danick Paquette racked up 20 PIM Sunday against Greenville, with five coming in a fight with Greenville forward Chris Chappell. Paquette now ranks third in the ECHL in penalty minutes with 76.
Struggling to Score: Aside from a five-goal outburst on 11/27 against Toledo, the Gladiators have scored three goals or fewer in their last 11 games. Gwinnett was averaging 3.6 goals per game through their first 11 games this season, but in their last 12 games they are averaging just 2.25 goals per game.
A Full 60 Minutes: The score after the first two periods has been crucial for the Gladiators this season. Gwinnett is a perfect 9-0-0-0 this season when leading after two periods of play but the Gladiators are 0-5-0-3 when trailing after two periods of play this season.
Last Week's Games:
December 5th - Gwinnett 1, Greenville 5 - L Arena at Gwinnett Center, Duluth, GA
The Gladiators dropped their second consecutive game against the Greenville Road Warriors on Sunday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center following a 7-1 loss on Thursday night. Greenville led 1-0 after the first period and added three goals in the second to take a 4-0 lead on Gwinnett before the Gladiators got on the board late in the second period. Tim Miller scored the lone goal for Gwinnett in the second to cut a four goal deficit down to three but Greenville added another marker in the third for the win. The Glads still out-shot Greenville 36-22.
December 3rd - South Carolina 4, Gwinnett 2 - L Arena at Gwinnett Center, Duluth, GA
The Gladiators recorded a pair of power play goals but it wasn't enough in a 4-2 loss to the South Carolina Stingrays. Gwinnett dropped its second consecutive game while posting the most penalty minutes this season in a game with 25 minutes. The Gladiators took a 1-0 lead on Matt Krug's first goal of the season but gave up the tying goal with less than a minute left in the first period. The Stingrays added two goals, one in the second and another in the third before Gwinnett cut the lead to 3-2 on Danick Paquette's fourth goal of the year. The Gladiators could get no closer as the Stingrays put the game away with a 5-on-3 power play goal midway through the final period.
December 2nd - Greenville 7, Gwinnett 1 - L BI-LO Center, Greenville, SC
The Greenville Road Warriors took over sole possession of first place in the South Division, thrashing the Gladiators 7-1 Thursday night at the BI-LO Center. Greenville (14-5-1) went 3-for-6 on the man advantage, handing the Glads (12-5-4) their worst loss of the season. Greenville tallied four second period goals to take a 5-0 lead into the third. Sam Roberts scored the Gladiators lone goal in the PP in the third with assists to Forney and Bendickson.
This Week's Games:
December 10th @ Wheeling (in Johnstown, PA) - 7:35 pm
December 11th @ Wheeling (In Johnstown, PA) - 7:05 pm
This Week's Opponent:
This weekend the Gladiators take on the Wheeling Nailers (11-10-0) in Johnstown, PA. Wheeling is on a modest two-game winning streak as of Monday and currently ranks second in the North Division with 22 points in 21 games. They are one of three teams (along with Florida and Reading) who have yet to lose a game in overtime or a shootout this season. The Glads will be seeing a familiar face in forward Chris Poli, who was traded from Gwinnett to Wheeling last week for future considerations.
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: OFF
Tuesday: 12:30-2 p.m. - Arena *Optional
Wednesday: 10:30-12:30 p.m. - Arena
Thursday: 1-2 p.m. - Johnstown
Friday: 11:15-12:15 - Johnstown
Saturday: 11:15-12:15 - Johnstown
The Gladiators are the AA affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers and play all home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.