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Glads Sweep Weekend, 4-2
Saturday, March 08, 2014

ESTERO, Fla. - For the second straight night Mark Guggenberger confounded the Florida Everblades, while Joey Haddad and Will MacDonald anchored the offense in a 4-2 Gladiators win Saturday night at Germain Arena.

Guggenberger made 30 saves to win his fourth start out of five so far with Gwinnett (23-31-2-2), while Mac Carruth took his second loss in as many starts with Florida (28-22-3-4). Haddad extended his goal-scoring streak to seven games with two goals and an assist, while MacDonald haunted his former team with the game-winning goal and two assists. The Gladiators have now won five of their past six games.

Defenseman Eric Springer put Gwinnett ahead 16:04 into the first period, hammering home a rebound on the far side of the crease as a Gladiators power play expired. Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Evan Bloodoff had the assists. Just 1:28 later the Everblades drew even, with Philip-Michael Devos scoring on a wraparound to make it a 1-1 game through 20 minutes.

In the second, Florida jumped ahead just under two minutes into the period thanks to a goal by Brandon MacLean. Gwinnett bounced back for the next two, however. After Carruth gave the puck away behind his net, Dirk Southern hit Haddad with a perfect pass, and the Gwinnett Captain rifled home a one-timer from the slot to tie the game at 2-2 just 64 seconds after Florida gained the lead.

That set the stage for a former Everblade to steal the show. Haddad fed MacDonald down the right wing side, and the Alpharetta, Ga. native put a centering pass off a Florida defenseman and in for what would prove to be the game-winning goal at 9:41 of the second. Dirk Southern picked up his second helper on the night on the play.

In the third, Guggenberger continued to keep the Blades at bay, and Haddad buried the insurance goal at 18:12 off a nice one-timer pass to the middle from MacDonald. Art Bidlevskii had the second assist.

This game wrapped up the season series between the two teams, with Gwinnett winning seven of 10. The Gladiators are next in action Thursday March 13th at 7 p.m. In Greenville, before returning home the next night at 7:05 p.m. against the South Carolina Stingrays.

The Gladiators wrap up their season series with the Florida Everblades Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Germain Arena. The next home game for Gwinnett is Friday, March 14th at 7:05 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center against the South Carolina Stingrays. The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league and are affiliated with the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.

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Photo Credit: Al Larson

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