The Gwinnett Gladiators scored once in each period to knock off the Fort Wayne Komets 3-1 on Friday night at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The Gladiators have now earned 31 points to hold onto the top spot in the South Division and Eastern Conference.
Gladiators defensemen Dallas Jackson scored the first goal of the game for Gwinnett at 11:38 of the first period. Jackson ripped a slap shot from the left wing point and beat Fort Wayne's goalie, Ken Reiter over the glove of Reiter. Corey Fienhage and Doug Jones earned an assist on the power play goal.
Daniel Maggio put the Komets on the board 14:15 into the second period and tied the score at 1-1.
With just 30 seconds left it the second period, Evan Bloodoff answered for the Gladiators and gave Gwinnett a 2-1 lead. Bloodoff picked up the goal after he scooped up a rebound from Gladiators goaltender Louis Domingue and skated down the length of the ice with the puck. Bloodoff tucked the puck up underneath the crossbar for the shorthanded goal for Gwinnett.
Fienhage scored an empty net goal to close out the scoring as he gave Gwinnett the 3-1 lead with 41 seconds left in the game. Fienhage flipped the puck down the length of the ice from deep inside the Gladiators end to post the marker.
On the ensuing faceoff, Tyler Murovich and Kaleigh Schrock fought at center ice while Maxime Villemaire dropped the gloves with Garrett Klotz. Seconds later, John Scrymgeour and Brent Henley fought deep in the Fort Wayne zone. There were 86 penalty minutes for Fort Wayne and 68 penalty minutes for Gwinnett.
The Gladiators will be back in action on Saturday night in North Charleston, South Carolina to play the South Carolina Stingrays at 7:05 p.m. Catch all the play by play action on AM 550 & FM 102.9 WDUN.
The Gladiators are the ECHL Affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League and are members of the ECHL, the Premier "AA" Hockey League and play all home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.