DULUTH, GA -- Casey Pierro's hat trick goal just 47 seconds into over time, lifted the Gwinnett Gladiators to a 4-3 win over the Florida Everblades at the Arena at Gwinnett Center Saturday night.Despite the loss, the Everblades (25-7-1-3, 54pts) pick up point in the standings.
After a scoreless first period, it took nearly half of the middle frame before the game's first goal would be scored. Everblades forward Mitch Wahl led a 2-on-1 rush into the zone. Wahl eyed the trailer Brant Harris, but then called his own number firing a wrist shot past Gwinnett netminder Adam Brown at the 9:27.
The Gladiators responded late in the period, grabbing two goals before the break. The first came when Gerry Nunn centered a feed from behind the net to wide open Zach Yuen in the slot. The newly acquired defenseman, Yuen, rifled a shot past Florida goaltender Daniel Altshuller to even the game at one at 17:46.
Gwinnett officially took the lead with 31 seconds remaining in the period, when Casey Pierro-Zabotel tipped and redirected a Bo Dolan shot from the point into the net past a screened Altshuller to put the Gladiators on top 2-1 after 40 minutes of play.
The Everblades tied the game just a minute into the third period, when Adam Brace beat Brown five-hole on a wrist shot for the shorthanded tally.
Six minutes later Artem Sergeev fired a shot from the point following a faceoff win that dribbled past a screened Brown to give Florida the 3-2 lead. The Everblades controlled the tempo for a majority of the third period, outshooting the Gladiators 11-4 in the period.
However, with a 1:42 remaining, a bounce to the right of the Everblades net ended up on the stick of Nunn, who centered the puck to the Zabotel at the top of the crease. Zabotel flexed the puck into the net for the tying goal to send the game to overtime.
Gwinnett received a power play after a boarding penalty and made it count. Yuen blasted a shot from the blue line which was once again tipped and redirected into the net on the shortside by Zabotel for the game winner. Zabotel's hat trick goal secured the 4-3 overtime for the Gladiators, and their third straight win against Florida.
Altshuller takes the loss allowing four goals on 18 shots, while Brown earns the win allowing three goals on 33 shots faced.
The Everblades close out the three-game weekend road swing on Sunday in North Charleston as they battle the South Carolina Stingrays. Game time is set for 3:05 p.m. Fans can tune in online at theislandfm.net
Upcoming Home Games & Promotions.Wednesday, January 28 vs. South Carolina, 7:30 p.m. – Enjoy $2 Drafts, wines, and hot dogs in the concourse all night long! It is also College Night! College students receive $5 tickets with free parking when they present their college I.D.
Friday, January 30 vs. Greenville, 7:30 p.m.Saturday, January 31 vs. Greenville, 7:00 p.m.