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Royals Trump Glads 4-2
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

READING, Pa. - Joey Haddad put the Gwinnett Gladiators ahead in the third period, but the defending Kelly Cup Champion Reading Royals rallied for a 4-2 win Wednesday night at Santander Arena.

Haddad pushed Gwinnett ahead 13:13 into the third. Will MacDonald found Dirk Southern down the far wing, springing the Gladiators (25-33-3-2) for a two-on-one. Southern then hit Haddad with a pass at the top of the near circle, and the captain blasted a shot past Reading (39-20-2-1) goaltender Brandon Anderson for a 2-1 Gladiators lead.

Reading however would answer with three goals in the final six minutes. Jesse Todd’s first goal of the season in his 34th game drew Reading even just 51 seconds after Haddad’s tally. Michal Cajkovsky then put the Royals up for good at 15:28 with a booming snapshot from the point that found its way past Mark Guggenberger. Ethan Cox capped the scoring with an empty-netter at 18:56.

Guggenberger made 33 saves in a losing cause, while Anderson picked up the win for the Royals making 22 stops.

Some nifty stick work from Coyotes prospect Brendan Walker opened the scoring 15:49 into the first. The St. Anne, Manitoba native took a feed from Eric Springer and swung down the left wing into the Royals zone, powered his way to the slot, faked backhand to forehand and slid the puck around Anderson.

Reading blitzed Gwinnett in the second period, tying the game late in the stanza on a power play goal by former Gladiator Domenic Monardo. The story of the period, however, was Guggenberger. The Gwinnett goaltender stood on his head, making several phenomenal stops to keep the Gladiators in the game despite being outshot 23-6 in the frame.

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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