The Gwinnett Gladiators scored three power play goals, including Tom Zanoski’s go-ahead tally at 7:29 of the third period, to outgun the second-ranked Cincinnati Cyclones and earn two extremely important points in the conference standings in front of 2,980 Monday night crowd at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. After taking two one-goal leads, the Gladiators found themselves down 3-2 midway through the second period, but battled back to defeat their conference foe.
Scott Mifsud opened the scoring just one minute into the game’s first power play at 2:56 of the opening period. Drew Paris’ slap shot from the blue line deflected to Mifsud in the high slot, and he hammered his own slapper into the back of the net for the early 1-0 lead. But Cincinnati’s Barrett Ehgoetz fed a pass through the crease to a streaking Scott Reynolds, who slammed home a one-timer to tie the game at one at 6:42.
Jamie Fritsch gave the Gladiators their second lead of the game on his first professional goal at 1:48 of the second period. Skating 4-on-4, Matt Francis initiated a 2-on-1 rush and hit Jamie Fritsch with a pass across the crease, and Fritsch buried a shot past sprawling Cincinnati goaltender Jeremy Smith.
But the Cyclones answered again just 2:05 later when Jason Jozsa’s dump-in attempt caromed off the glass and directly onto the stick of a wide open Chris Morehouse, who beat Gwinnett goaltender Danny Taylor with a wrist shot high on the glove side.
Cincinnati then took their first lead of the game at 12:22 of the middle period. Patrik Prokop gathered a loose puck at the right point and released a shot that fooled Taylor and trickled across the line for a 3-2 lead.
Matt Francis scored a goal the power play after Cincinnati’s Hans Benson went off for roughing at 13:51. Francis, streaking into the zone, took a pass from Tim Miller high in the slot and unleashed a hard wrist shot near the hash marks, beating Smith low on the glove side, evening the score at three.
The Gladiators took their third lead of the game with their third power play marker at 7:29 of the third period. Drew Paris, who was set up at the blue line, took a pass from Scott Mifsud and one-timed a shot, which Tom Zanoski tipped in for the 4-3 lead. The goal proved to be the winner, as Gwinnett held on for the final 12 and a half minutes for the victory over the second-ranked Cyclones.
Danny Taylor finished with 36 total saves for his second straight victory, and the Gladiators held the Cyclones scoreless in two power play chances.
The Gladiators finished 3-for-5 on the power play, recording just one even strength goal, a 4-on-4 tally by Jamie Fritsch, the first of his pro career. Neither Gwinnett’s Mike McLean or Cincinnati’s Scott Marchesi factored in the scoring against their former teams.
Information provide by tyhe Gwinnett Gladiators