Gladiators Weekly Update for May 8th
5/8/2006 Gladiators Weekly Update – Playoff Edition
FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 8th
American Conference Finals: The Gwinnett Gladiators lead the American Conference Finals 1 game to 0 after defeating the Toledo Storm 5-3 on Friday night at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. Gwinnett will host Game 2 of the series on Monday, May 8th at 7:05 p.m. before the series shifts to the Toledo Sports Arena for Games 3, 4 and if necessary Game 5 beginning on Friday, May 12th. The Gladiators advanced to the Conference Finals for the second time in three years defeating the Florida Everblades 3 games to 1 in the South Division Championship series closing out the Everblades 7-4 in Game 4 to clinch the series.
A Career High: Gladiators Captain Cam Brown matched a post season career high for points in one playoff season with a pair of assists in Gwinnett’s 7-4 win over Florida in Game 4 on May 1st. The two assists where his 6th and 7th points of the post season tying his previous career high set with the Baton Rouge Kingfish during the 1999 Kelly Cup Playoffs and then matched with the Gladiators during the 2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Brown now has 1 goal and 6 assists for 7 points during the 2006 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Three Shy of 20: Cam Brown entered the 2006 Kelly Cup Playoffs with 10 points for the Gladiators in 21 post-season games. He has 7 points in 8 playoff games for Gwinnett and needs just three points for 20 in his Gladiators post-season career. Three points would also give Brown 30 points in his ECHL playoff career.
A Team Record: Cam Brown is just 2 points shy of tying a Gladiators team record for most points in a Gladiators playoff career. Brown currently has 17 points in 29 Kelly Cup Playoff games with Gwinnett; two points shy of current record holder Chris Durno who has 19 points in 21 Kelly Cup Playoff games with the Gladiators. Durno, who is on the Gladiators playoff roster, is currently on recall to Milwaukee of the AHL. The Admirals lead their best of seven series with Houston after a 5-4 win last night in Game 1.
Three or more: The Gladiators have scored three or more goals in all eight Kelly Cup Playoff games this year and lead the ECHL in average goals scored during the post season. Gwinnett has posted 39 goals in the playoffs averaging 4.88 goals per game, more than .25 more than the second place Florida Everblades. Gwinnett ranked 1st in the ECHL during the regular season averaging 4.22 goals per game.
Hat Trick: Guillaume Desibens had the third hat trick of the 2006 Kelly Cup Playoffs by a Gladiator in Gwinnett’s 5-3 win over Toledo on May 5th. Desbiens joins Joel Stepp and Milan Gajic with a three-goal game during the playoffs. The Gladiators three hat tricks during the 2006 Kelly Cup Playoffs is the first time a team combined for three hat tricks during the playoffs since the Louisiana IceGators collected three hat tricks during the 1998 Kelly Cup Playoffs
Penalty Shots: The Gladiators saw more penalty shots during the four games of the South Division Finals against the Florida Everblades than they saw during the whole 72 game regular season. Matt York was unsuccessful on a penalty shot in the second period for the Gladiators in Game 2 of the series on April 28th while Milan Gajic converted on his penalty shot in Game 4 of the series late in the opening stanza. The only penalty shot the Gladiators were involved in during the regular season saw Chris Durno stopped by Greenville’s Brodeuer on November 8th. The Gladiators two penalty shots during the series was more than the Gladiators had during the previous two years in the playoff combined while there have been three penalty shots involving the Gladiators during the 2006 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Last Week’s Games: May 1st, Gladiators 7, Florida 4 – W
Milan Gajic recorded a hat trick to lead Gwinnett past Florida and help the Gladiators clinch the American Conference Finals three games to one. Joel Stepp scored 30 seconds into the first period but Florida answered 43 seconds later to tie the game at one. Gajic’s first goal of the game came on a penalty shot with 18 seconds left in the first. Gwinnett exploded for three goals in the second period to take a 5-1 lead. Adam Courchaine posted the first, Troy Milam had the second while Gajic’s second of the night gave Gwinnett the four goal lead. Florida got back within two goals on a pair of markers two minutes apart midway through the second. Milam’s second with just 28 seconds left in the second gave the Gladiators a 6-3 lead. Florida tightened the gap with a goal five minutes into the third while Gajic completed the hat trick with an empty net goal late in the third. Adam Berkhoel made 27 saves for his fourth win of the post season. With the win, the Gladiators clinched the American Conference’s South Division.
May 5th, Gladiators 5, Toledo 3 – W
Guillaume Desbiens posted the third hat trick in four playoff games for the Gladiators as Gwinnett overcame a two-goal deficit to post the win. Desbiens open the scoring for Gwinnett early in the first period before Toledo rattled off the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead before the end of the first period. Desbiens second goal came with six seconds left in the second period to cut the Storm lead to a goal. In the third, Steve Slaton’s first goal of the post season came early in the third period to equalize the game at three. The ECHL’s regular season MVP Jeff Campbell gave the Gladiators a 4-3 lead with a little over three minutes left in the third period while Desbiens finished the hat trick with an empty net goal with three seconds left in the third. Brad Schell finished with three assists in the win while Derek Nesbitt and Troy Milam each had a pair of assists for the Gladiators. Adam Berkhoel made 26 saves to record the win.
GAME 2 - May 8th vs. Toledo Storm – 7:05 p.m. - WDUN, News Talk 550
GAME 3 – May 12th @ Toledo Storm – 7:35 p.m. – wdun.com
GAME 4 – May 14th @ Toledo Storm – 6:05 p.m. – WDUN, News Talk 550
GAME 5 (if nec) – May 16th @ Toledo Storm – 7:05 p.m. – WDUN, News Talk 550
GAME 6 (if nec) – May 20th vs. Toledo Storm – 7:35 p.m. – wdun.com
GAME 7 (if nec) – May 21st vs. Toledo Storm – 4:05 p.m. – wdun.com
The Gladiators lead the best-of-seven American Conference Finals 1-game-to-0 after a 5-3 win over the Storm in Game 1 on Friday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Gwinnett won the only meeting between these two teams during the regular season on December 17th, a 6-3 win at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Three of the Gladiators top four scorers during the post season in Adam Courchaine, Joel Stepp and Milan Gajic had not been assigned to the Gladiators at the time of the only regular season meeting this year. The Gwinnett win on December 17th was the third meeting all time as the Gladiators franchise (including records at the Mobile Mysticks from 1995-2001) is 1-1-1 against the Storm in the regular season. Toledo defeated Mobile 4-3 in overtime on February 16, 1996 and collected a 5-2 win over the Mysticks on February 2, 1997 in the other two meetings, both in Toledo. This series marks the first time that these two franchises have met during the post season.
This Week’s Practice Schedule: Practices at the IceForum in Duluth are open to the general public. Arena at Gwinnett Center practices are not open to the general public due to Arena policy. Media members wishing to attend practice at the Arena should contact the Gladiators PR staff at 770-497-5106.
Monday: Game 2 vs. Toledo (pre game @ 10 a.m.)
Tuesday: 10:30 a.m. – 11:35 a.m., Arena at Gwinnett Center
Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. – 11:35 a.m., Arena at Gwinnett Center (bus leaves at midnight for Toledo)
Thursday: Practice in Toledo
Friday: Game 3 @ Toledo (pre game @ 11 a.m.)
Saturday: Practice in Toledo
Sunday: Game 4 @ Toledo (pre game @ 11 a.m.)
The Gwinnett Gladiators continue the 2006 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Monday, May 8th as they host the Toledo Storm in Game 2 of the American Conference Finals at 7:05 p.m. The Gladiators offer several ticket packages for different needs as well as group outings, suites and birthday parties. For more information call 770-497-5100 or log on to gwinnettgladiators.com.
The Gladiators play all 36 home games at the Arena at Gwinnett Center located on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth and are the AA affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers.