The Gwinnett Gladiators continued their nine-game road stretch with a pair of games over the weekend at the Germain Arena in Estero, Florida and came away with a split of the series with the Everblades. Gwinnett (35-24-2-1, 73 points) won the Friday battle 5-2, and then Florida (29-20-4-6, 68 points) took the Saturday contest by a 3-2 final.
Gwinnett was led offensively in the weekend set by Evan Bloodoff (1G, 2A), Casey Pierro-Zabotel (3A) and Cody Brookwell (1G, 1A). Jody O’Neill was between the pipes for both games and is now 5-2-0-0 for the season. The Ontario native stopped 74-of-79 Florida shots on goal and now has a 1.86 GAA with a 9.41 SAV%.
Corey Trivino (2G, 1A), Aaron Bogosian (2G), Mathieu Roy (1G, 1A) and Matthew Pistilli (2A) led the Blades attack, while Rob Marlowe and Pat Nagle shared goaltender duties.
Marlowe started Friday’s game and surrendered three goals on only 12 shots before being lifted for Nagle, who finished out the night with 10 saves on 11 shots. Nagle then picked up the win Saturday by stopping 24-of-26 Gwinnett shots.
Friday’s game was literally a battle. The clubs racked up 35 infractions for 126 penalty minutes (Gwinnett 17/50 PIM, Florida 18/76 PIM) while going a combined 0-10 on the power play. The Gladiators were 0-for-4 while Florida went 0-for-6.
Gwinnett maintained a three-point lead in the ECHL South Division as a result of the Greenville Road Warriors (32-22-2-4, 70 points) dropping both their games over the weekend. While the Glads must be happy with the division lead, it should be noted that Greenville has played 60 games while Gwinnett has played 62.
The Gladiators announced Sunday that Bloodoff has been recalled by the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League. The forward opened the season with Portland and also was with the Pirates from January 7th through February 13th. Bloodoff was selected in the 2009 NHL Draft in the 6th round with the 157th overall selection by the Phoenix Coyotes.
Gwinnett travels to Utah for a Wednesday matchup and then head to Idaho for a pair of games before returning home March 14 to face the Orlando Solar Bears. The Gladiators will play six of their final seven regular season games at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.
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.