DULUTH, GA – Russ Sinkewich’s goal 2:09 into overtime lifted the Gwinnett Gladiators to a 4-3 victory over the Florida Everblades at the Arena at Gwinnett Center Saturday evening.
Gwinnett scored first taking advantage of an Everblades turnover. Ryan O’Byrne’s pass in the Florida end was intercepted by Alex Belzile at the blue line. Belzile broke in on goal on the breakaway, and was able to beat Florida goaltender Rob Madore on a deke move for the goal.
Florida tied the game at 11:09 of the opening period on the power play. Gwinnett netminder Louis Domingue attempted to the clear the puck down the ice. However, the puck hit off of the body of Leigh Salters and rolled behind the net. Salter fetched the loose puck and banked it off the back of the leg of Domingue, causing the puck to roll into the net for the goal. Salter’s sixth of the season, put the score at 1-1 at the first break.
The Everblades took the lead 2:09 into the second period. Salters grabbed the puck from behind the net and rolled it in front to Alex Hutchings. Hutchings fielded the puck at the top of the crease and swung it around Domingue for the power play marker.
Gladiators Captain Andy Brandt tied the game at two nearly ten minutes later. Brandt fired a shot from the right wing circle which was stopped by Madore. Brandt then picked up his own rebound, and hurled the puck into the net past an outstretched Madore for the goal.
Gwinnett grabbed the lead back exactly three minutes later. Casey Pierro-Zabotel centered a pass to forward Doug Jones who ripped a one-timed shot from the point past Madore for the go-ahead goal to give the Gladiators a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes played.
Florida leaned on its power play unit once to tie the game at 8:43 of the third. Newcomer Maury Edwards directed a feed from the right wing side, which made its way across the ice to Brayden Irwin at circle. Irwin hammered the puck behind Domingue tying the game at three.
Gwinnett attempted to reclaim the lead down the stretch, but Madore continued to turn aside several quality scoring chances sending the game to overtime.
Just 2:09 into overtime, Gwinnett defenseman Russ Sinkewich skated the puck into the zone on the right wing side, and fired a tough angled shot from the low circle which slipped past Madore to lift the Gladiators to a 4-3 overtime victory.
Madore takes the loss allowing four goals on 39 shots faced, while Domingue earns the win stopping 26 of 29 shots on the night. Florida scored all three goals on the power play against the league’s top ranked penalty kill unit. Leigh Salters tied a career high with three points (1g, 2a) on the night.
Florida will travel to North Charleston to battle the South Carolina Stingrays. Game time is set for 3:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 96 K-Rock (96.1). Florida returns home to battle the Toledo Walleye on January 9, 11, 12, at Germain Arena.
Ticket Information: The Capital Bank Box Office is open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fans may also call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or order online at www.ticketmaster.com
Partial-season packages are still available, and start as low as $150 and offer a flexible option for fans. These packages make for great holiday gifts for the hockey fan in your life! For more information on all available packages, call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825.