Gladiators fall to Everblades 5-3; Trail Series 1-0
Estero, FL - The Gwinnett Gladiators scored three power play goals and Tom Zanoski had a goal and two assists but it wasn't enough to help the Gladaitors past the Florida Everblades in a 5-3 loss in Game 1 of the Division Semi-Finals. Florida leads the best of 7 series 1-game-to-0 with Game 2 tomorrow night in Florida.
Floria took a 2-0 lead on the Gladiators in the first period. Doug O'Brien gave Florida the early 1-0 lead on a 5-on-3 power play goal for the Everblades at 5:53 of the first period. Peter Metcalf and Andrew Sweetland had the assists on the goal.
Ross Carlson pushed the Florida lead to 2-0 at 17:28 of the first period rolling the puck past Gwinnett netminder Joe Fallon for the marker at 17:28 of the opening period. Mathieu Roy and O'Brien had the assist on the goal for the Everblades.
The second period was wide open with the Gladiators taking a 3-2 lead with three straight goal in the second but Florida ended the period with a pair of goals to take a 4-3 lead into the lockerroom after the second.
Tom Zanoski got the Gladiators on the board just 2:20 into the second punching the puck on a rebound past Everblades netminder David Leggio for the goal. Brandon Kaleniecki added an assist on the power play goal for Gwinnett.
Kaleniecki then tied the game at two with his first goal of the post season on the power play. Parked on the off wing, Kaleniecki took a rink wide pass from Adam Berti and beat Leggio for the goal. Zanoski collected an assist on the goal for Gwinnett.
The Gladiators took a 3-2 lead on Pat Bateman's first goal of the post season at 14:08 of the second peirod rolling the puck through the legs of Leggio for the marker from 15 feet out. Dirk Southern and Zanoski had the helpers on the power play goal for Gwinnett.
Florida scored a pair of goals before the end of the second to take a 4-3 lead into the final period with the second of the two goals coming with just one second left in the middle stanza.
Jacob Micflikier tied the game at four beating Fallon from point blank range at 18:38 of the second for the goal. Dominic D'Amour and Ernie Hartlieb had the assists on the goal for the Everblades.
Mark Lee regained the lead for the Everblades as time expired in the second period. Parked along the goal line, Lee threw the puck to the net and it eluded Fallon from a bad angle for the go-ahead goal with one second left. Hartlieb and O'Brien each added their second assists of the game for the Everblades on the marker.
Florida added an insurance goal halfway through the third period to put the game away. Sweetland was able to sweep the puck past Fallon on a break at 9:58 of the third period on the power play. Jonathan Paiement and Micflikier had the helpers on the goal for the Everblades.
Fallon finished with 21 saves for the Gladiators in the loss. Gwinnett scored all three goals on the power play going 3-for-9 on the man advantage in the loss. Florida went 2-for-8 on the power play in the loss.
The Gladiators return to action on Satuday, April 11th as they travel to Florida to take on the Everblades at 7:30 p.m. in Game 2 of the Division Semifinals. Catch all the play by play action on majic1029.com.
Began in 1988-89 with five teams playing in four states, the Premier AA' Hockey League has grown into a coast-to-coast league that will have 23 teams in 16 states and British Columbia playing 864 games from Oct. 17, 2008 to Apr. 4, 2009. Eighteen of the 23 teams have played at least five years in their current city.
The third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the ECHL averaged 4,174 per game last season, marking the fourth year in row and the 16th time in the last 18 years that the league has averaged over 4,000 fans. The league has drawn over four million fans each of the last five years and 11 times in the past 12 seasons.
The Gwinnett Gladiators continue their sixth 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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