The Gwinnett Gladiators return to The Arena at Gwinnett Center Thursday night after a grueling three week road trip that included nine games. The Gladiators (37-25-2-1) head into the final seven games of their regular season schedule leading the ECHL South Division with 77 points. The club begins the week third in the Eastern Conference.
Gwinnett will play six of their final seven regular season games at The Arena beginning with Thursday's contest against the Orlando Solar Bears. The Glads and Bears will play three games in four days, all at The Arena.
Orlando begins play this week last in the South Division with 58 points and a 26-30-3-3 record. The Bears, 3-6-0-1 in their last 10 games, are led on offense by Matthew Sisca. The forward leads the Solar Bears with 48 points in 59 games.
Gladiators forward Casey Pierro-Zabotel continues to lead the ECHL in scoring. The forward has 74 points (21 goals, 53 assists) in 65 games this season with Gwinnett. Pierro-Zabotel has averaged over a point-per-game for Gwinnett and on his current pace, would finish the season with 82 points. He has appeared in all 65 games this season for Gwinnett and has also notched a career best 22 multiple point games this season.
UPDATE: Pierro-Zabotel was called up to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. He will be making his first trip of the season to the AHL. Charlotte currently ranks second in the South Division and fourth in the Western Conference in the AHL.
Evan Bloodoff has also notched 20 goals this season.
Gladiators goaltender Louis Domingue made 40 saves against the Idaho Steelheads on March 9th to earn his third shutout of the season. His 40 save performance is the most for the netminder among his three shutouts this season. It's also the most saves by a Gladiators goalie this season in a shutout performance. The rookie improved his SAV% to 0.902 while improving his record to 18-9-1-1. The recently turned 21-year old (March 6) also lowered his GAA to 2.81.
Jody O'Neill made 40 saves while with Las Vegas in a 5-0 win over San Francisco on February 6th.
The Gladiators and Solar Bears will complete the season series with games Friday and Saturday. The Friday, March 15th game is the final Friendly Friday of the 2012-13 regular season. Fans can get a great deal on food and a ticket with the Friendly Friday - an adult ticket is just $20 and includes a hotdog or pizza slice, fountain beverage and a ticket in section 115 - or a kids ticket for just $15 which includes a kids meal with a fountain beverage and a ticket in section 115.
Sunday's game will be the final Kroger Family Sunday this season. Kroger Family Sundays offers you four corner level tickets, $5 Gladiators merchandise coupon, and a Kroger Family Meal for only $50. The Kroger Family Meal includes an 8 piece Combo Pack Baked Chicken, 1 lb. Deli Salad or Coleslaw, 12 ct. dinner rolls, 18ct. cookies & a 2 liter Big K Soft Drink. Y
Tickets for both games can be purchased at the Arena at Gwinnett Center Box Office or online via the Gladiators official website www.gwinnettgladiators.com.
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.