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Catching Up with Gwinnett Gladiators: MLK Matinee Game

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Greetings everyone. I'll be doing a live blog of the Gladiators MLK Day matinee match versus the Charlotte Chechers.

So far this season the Glads have a stranger record. They have a losing home record (8-10-0-2) and winning record on the road (10-4-3-0). If the season ended today the Gladiators would be out of the playoffs, but they have a few games in hand on the teams they are chasing.

Thrashers Draft Picks

Thrashers draft pick Matt Siddall ranks 2nd on the team in goal scoring with 13 goals in 26 games. On the down side he has racked up a team leading  80 penalty minutes. Michael Forney struggled when he first came to Gwinnett, but has picked it up lately. So far he has just 10 points in 36 games. 2nd round pick Chad Denny has mostly played defense so far this season and has a respectable 15 points in 29 games. But he has been a healthy scratch of late due to poor play.

Live Blog 1st period

1-0 Gladiators. Caruana SH 2 on 1, nice pass to Berti who finished off the chance from the right door step.

Gladiator Goalie David Brown with two plus saves on PK. Glads catching a bit of a break twice. A wide open guy flubs receiving the pass on the right side of the hash marks. Then on a 2 on 1 a Charlotte players fell down.

2-0 Glads. Another short-handed goal. Scott Marchesi draws the defender to the boards and Forney sneaks into the slot and Marchesi gets him and puck and he picks one of the five holes on the goalie.

2-1 Glads. Charlotte gets a nice deflection goal on the PP.

3-1 Glads PP Goal. Nice point shot by Brocklehurts Brocklehurst from left side rebound squirts to the right side circle right to a waiting Lawrence who buries it in the net over a prone goalie.

Charlotte with a SH break Daniel Tkachuk is sent a terrific pass for a back door tap in opportunity but he mishandles the puck and puts it wide. I can't believe they didn't score there.

3-2 Charlotte scores off a wild scramble in front. Gladiators goalie David Brown madea  good stop but the rebound was collected by the opposition who worked it to the back door sice for a roof shot in tight.

2nd Period

4-2 Gladiator goal by Chris Higgins. This was a bit of an "excuse me" goal as the original shot was saved and then it bounced in off of a player's skate in the crease.

Gwinnett just came extremely close to getting their 3rd SH Goal of the game.

Gladiator goalie Brown had a strong 1st period, but has not been as crisp in his movement--not he's flopping a bit in the crease area.

...and now Brown makes a nice save with the tip of his glove on a 2nd chance by Charlotte.

4-3 Charlotte scores on a wide open chance on the goalie's back door side. A Gladiator D was lying on the ice which opened up the passing lane across the crease area.

Glads Pat Galivan shows off some amazing eye hand coordination as he bats a puck out of the net after a rebound flutters straight up in the air. Shot hit the goalie but he came very close to scoring.

3rd Period

Glads Caruana with a breakaway chance right off the opening faceoff.

Pat Galivan with another near miss as a puck slids through the crease.

Glads with a 3 on 2 rush, they are getting the better of the chances this period.

And Caruana with his 2nd breakaway of the period--save.

4-4 Charlotte ties it as Gwinnett coverage breaks down. A Charlotte player carried the puck in behind the net and Charlotte forward got open while everyone was looking at the puck behind the net. Pass to open guy who easily lifts over it over helpless goalie. Unfortunate turn of events as Gladiators clearly had the better scoring opportunites in this period so far.

5-4 Charlotte on PPG that I think was deflected right in front. It was a point shot that appeared to be going wide and was angled to catch the inside of teh post. Gladiators with less then 4 minutes left to try and tie it back up--and now Glads are going on the PP--golden opportunity.

6-4 EN goal against.

Post Game

Gladiators Head Coach Pyle was rather matter of fact after the game. After consecutive games which the team lost leads he questioned the teams hockey IQ. He said that they work hard but don't execute proper defensive coverage in their end.

Reminder: Two Gladiators will appear on the ECHL All-Star Game will be Wednesday night.