The Gwinnett Gladiators and South Carolina Stingrays met at The Arena at Gwinnett Center Saturday night for the second of a two-game weekend set in front of 9,587 fans and came away with a 3-0 shutout victory. Glads goalie Louis Domingue had 24 saves in earning his second shutout of the season.
Gwinnett (28-18-2-1) lit the lamp 8:09 into the first period when forward Justin Bowers took a pass from Joey Haddad and put it past South Carolina (23-23-1-3) netminder Ryan Zapolski for the only score of the opening period. Haddad and Alex Belzile picked up the helpers. The first period ended with the home team holding a 1-0 advantage after having out-shot the visitors by a 13-9 count.
The second period was a defensive battle that saw neither club able to find the back of the net, and the second intermission came with the Gladiators still holding the 1-0 lead.
The Glads extended their lead to 2-0 2:11 into the third period when All-Star Casey Pierro-Zabotel lifted the puck over the glove of Zapolski after a feed from the left circle from Bowers. Sacha Guimond earned the second assist on the power play goal. Haddad picked up his second point of the night less than two minutes later (4:08 into the period) when he beat former Gladiator Zapolski after working the puck past a pair of Rays. The helpers went to Belzile and Bowers. South Carolina was unable to mount a comeback and the final period ended with the Gladiators on top 3-0.
The win gave Gwinnett a split in the two-game set following the Rays 2-0 win the night before.
Domingue (W) improves to 14-7-1-1 with the Gwinnett win, while Zapolski (L, 34 saves) falls to 16-9-0-0 in the South Carolina loss.
The Gladiators were 1-for-5 on the power play while totaling 12 penalty minutes on 6 infractions. The Stingrays were held scoreless on six power play chances and had 5 infractions for 10 penalty minutes.
Gwinnett out-shot South Carolina 37-24.
First Star: GWT – 37 Louis Domingue (24 saves in earning his second SO of the season)
Second Star: GWT – 71 Justin Bowers (1 Goal, 2 Assists, +2 rating, 9 shots on goal)
Third Star: GWT – 27 Joey Haddad (l goal, 1 assist, +2 rating)
The Gladiators are next in action Wednesday February 6th in Trenton at 7:05 p.m.
The Gladiators are the ECHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League and play home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. The ECHL is the Premier "AA" League.