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Friday May 27th, 2016 1:05AM

Gladiators fall again to Florida, 4-3

By staff
ESTERO, Fla. -- David Rutherford scored two goals, including the winner in overtime Saturday night at the Florida Everblades knocked off the Gwinnett Gladiators 4-3 for the second night in a row at Germain Arena. The Glads (10-6-5-2) extended their lead atop the South Division to two points over the South Carolina Stingrays.

After an Andy Brandt boarding penalty early in overtime, Rutherford snuck a wrist shot past Gwinnett goalie Marc Cheverie to seal Florida's 4-3 win. Cheverie made 31 saves in a losing cause while Pat Nagle made 30 to get the win. The Glads are now 0-5 in overtime this season with all five decisions coming on the road.

The lone goal of the opening period came off the stick of Blades (11-9-1-1) forward Rutherford. Florida's leading scorer drifted a lazy wrist shot from the point through traffic and over the left shoulder of Gwinnett goaltender Marc Cheverie at 12:50 to give the Everblades a 1-0 edge through 20 minutes.

Florida added to their lead early in the second period, as forward Rylan Galiardi tipped a pass right between the legs of Cheverie from in close at 2:30 to make it a 2-0 game.

Gwinnett took over from there, as forward Colin Vock took an outlet pass through the neutral zone from defenseman Dave Strathman and beat Blades goalie Pat Nagle to bring the Glads within one at 12:46. Andy Brandt also had an assist on the goal.

The Gladiators then drew even late in the second. Nikita Kashirsky found Strathman down the right wing, and the defenseman scored his first ECHL goal rifling a writster from the far circle past Nagle to tie the game at two through two periods.

Gwinnett took their first lead at 9:22 of the third as Brandt re-directed a Dallas Jackson shot past Nagle with another assist going to Shane Sims. The Everblades answered however at 16:37, as Scott Pitt buried a chance from close-in off a defensive zone giveaway by the Glads.
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