The Gwinnett Gladiators scored three goals in the final eight minutes of play against the ECHL North Division champion Cincinnati Cyclones and came from behind for a 5-3 victory Wednesday night at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. The win is the fifth straight for the Glads. Gwinnett (41-25-2-1) continues to lead the South Division and hold the third spot in the Eastern Conference.
The win was a complete team effort as five different players scored in the win. Joey Haddad (1G, 2A) and Justin Bowers (1G, 2A) led the offense with three points each. Ryan Ginand (2A), Doug Jones (1G, 1A) and Ryan Donald each contributed two points while Justin Weller (1A) and Andy Brandt (1G) each had a point.
Louis Domingue (W, 21-9-1-1) was between the pipes for Gwinnett and stopped 24 of 27 shots he faced in earning his 21st win of the season. The rookie has compiled a 2.80 GAA with a 0.902 SAV% in 32 games with the Gladiators for the 2012-13 campaign.
With three games remaining in their regular season schedule Gwinnett sits atop the ECHL South with 85 points. The Greenville Road Warriors are currently second with 80 points followed by the Florida Everblades with 79 points. The South Carolina Stingrays (78 points) and Orlando Solar Bears (61 points) round out the division.
While the Gladiators are in a good position entering the final week of the season, the Everblades have the opportunity to finish the regular season in a tie with Gwinnett because they have six games remaining, while Gwinnett has three games left. Greenville is five points behind Gwinnett and also has only three games remaining.
Gwinnett will be in action Friday night when they travel to the North Charleston Coliseum to take on the South Carolina Stingrays. The Rays are led by former Gladiator Ryan Zapolski who has the best goals against average (1.66) in the ECHL and a .940 save percentage.
Goaltender Mike Lee has been assigned to the Gladiators while netminder Mark Visentin has been called up to the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League by the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League. In a separate transaction, forward Jason Clark has been re-assigned from the Gladiators to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL by the New York Islanders of the NHL. In addition, Tyler Murovich has been re-assigned to the Gladiators from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL while Alex Belzile has been signed by the Bulldogs to an AHL Player Tryout Agreement.
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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.