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Gladiators Wrap up '14-'15 with 5-1 Loss

April 12, 2015 - ECHL (ECHL) - Atlanta Gladiators News Release

GREENVILLE, SC - In their final game of the 2014-15 season, the Gwinnett Gladiators (20-45-3-4) were outpaced by their closest rivals, the Greenville Road Warriors (39-29-1-3) on Saturday night in Greenville. Mike Merrifield scored the lone Gladiators goal on the evening, a shorthanded tally in the third period.

Greenville had two power play opportunities in the first period, and on their second of the game, Anthony Luciani scored his eighth goal of the season against the Gladiators at 12:22, swatting it in from the left circle.

The Gladiators fought back for a better second period, outshooting their first period total of five shots in the first eight minutes of the period. But the Road Warriors only added onto their lead with a Michael St. Croix goal at 15:56. From behind the net, St. Croix threw the puck in off the back of Kent Patterson as the Gwinnett goaltender was facing forward, expecting a one-timer to come from out front.

In the third, former Gladiator Dallas Jackson scored his second goal of the year against his former team at 7:18 for Greenville's second power play goal of the night. Down 3-0, things boiled over just before the nine minute mark of the period. The Gladiators crashed the Greenville net hard, and in the subsequent scrum around the crease, Jason Missiaen took exception with Sean Berkstresser, and threw two punches at the head of the former Road Warrior captain.

In the end, the Road Warriors received a two minute power play, but the Gladiators were the ones to take advantage. At 11:11, Tyler Murovich led a two-on-one rush into the offensive zone along with Mike Merrifield. Murovich pulled the defender off enough to slide a pass across, and Merrifield buried Gwinnett's second shorthanded goal of the season.

After that, the Road Warriors tacked on an empty net goal at 18:31, and then scored a controversial goal in literally the last second. Joey Holka quickly entered the zone on a one-on-one rush, sped around the defense, and slipped a backhand shot inside the right post with zeroes on the clock. Despite the goal never getting signaled by the referee and goal light, and the end-of-game horn going off before the puck went in, referee Kenny Anderson decided to let the goal count for a 5-1 final.

The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation's premier "AA" hockey league, and are affiliated with the Arizona Coyotes of the NHL. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth - where parking is always free.

As Atlanta's "One and Only" professional hockey team, the Gladiators have established an extraordinary winning tradition and unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for affordable and family-friendly sports entertainment. The Gladiators are consistently ranked as one of the top "Things To Do" in the Atlanta area and across the North Georgia region.

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