DULUTH - The Gwinnett Gladiators (31-18-2-1) won their fourth straight game as they posted a 6-5 win over the Evansville IceMen (17-29-2-3) on Saturday night at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The Gladiators remain in first place in the ECHL's South Division with the win as Greenville dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to Cincinnati tonight.
Gwinnett opened up the game with the first goal by rookie Nick Walsh 8:11 into the first period. The marker came as Walsh danced around the crease and pumped the puck past Evansville netminder, Paul Dainton. Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Tristen Llewellyn earned an assist on the play. The goal was Walsh's first goal of the season.
Gwinnett took a 2-0 lead at 14:37 of the first on a goal from Justin Weller. The Rookie defensemen ripped as slap shot from the right point past Dainton for the marker. Yuri Bouharevich and Pierro-Zabotel both picked up helpers on the marker.
Josh Beaulieu put Evansville on the board 47 seconds into the second period. Jake Obermeyer evened the score at two at the 7:50 mark of the second.
Rookie Scott Arnold put the Gladiators back on top of the Icemen with a marker 8:49 into the second for the 3-2 lead. The marker came as Arnold made the slapper from the right faceoff circle to get the puck over the head of Dainton to the find the back of the net for the point. Corey Fienhage and Pierro-Zabotel picked up assists on the play.
Joey Haddad widened the margin to two after his goal at the 10:11 mark of the second. He ripped the shot from the slot over the shoulder of Dainton for the goal. Justin Bowers picked up his first point of the game with an assist.
Gwinnett scored first in the third period with a pair of markers halfway through the third period. The first tally came from Yuri Bouharevich 10:11 into the third period. Bouharevich found the back of the net as he blasted a shot thorugh Dainton. The goal was the Montreal, PQ native's first professional goal. Captain Andy Brandt earned a helper on the play.
Twelve seconds later, Haddad scored the game-winning goal to put the Gladiators on top of the Icemen, 6-2. Haddad squeezed the puck into the corner of the net behind Dainton. Bowers picked up his second assist of the night and Ryan Donald earned his first.
In the last six minutes of the game Evansville scored three goals get within one. The first goal came 14:35 into the third from forward Nathan Moon. At the 18:12 mark Philippe Plante scored his first goal of the season to cut the Gwinnett lead to two. The last goal for Evansville came less than a minute later with with just 51 seconds left in the third from forward Kevin Baker.
The Gladiators return to the Arena at Gwinnett Center tomorrow to face the number one team from the North Division, the Cincinnati Cyclones, at 4:05 p.m.