Gladiators unload on Checkers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - If revenge was on the menu, the Gwinnett Gladiators should be well stuffed.

The Gladiators unloaded on Charlotte, a team that ousted them from last year's playoffs and beat them in this season's opener, hammering the Checkers 5-1 on Tuesday.

Chris Durno, who has posted a point in nine straight games, scored twice in the third period to lead Gwinnett to a win in Charlotte's new arena.

The Gladiators improved to 7-2-1 and return to the Arena at Gwinnett Center for a Thanksgiving Day game against Augusta. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. and several special ticket packages are available for the holiday game.

It will be the second game in three days and the start of a three-in-three stretch for the Gladiators.

Gwinnett got its week started off right with the big win over Charlotte.

Ryan Fultz scored first, finding a loose puck along the goal line and flipping it past Charlotte netminder Chris Holt. Brad Schell dug the puck off the wall in his own zone and found Jeff Campbell in the neutral zone to set up the play. Holt made the save off Campbell's slap-shot from the left wing circle, but he couldn't corral the rebound. Fultz picked up his second goal of the season at 9:36 of the first period.

Charlotte evened the score on a short-handed goal with less than five minutes left in the period.

Dusty Jamieson knocked the puck away from a Gladiators defenseman at the blue line on a Gladiators power play and beat netminder Sean Fields on a breakaway for the unassisted tally at 14:39 of the first period.

Guillaume Desbiens put the Gladiators back on top, finding a rebound in the slot and backhanding the puck past Holt for a 2-1 Gladiators' lead at 3:55 of the second period.

Gwinnett hung tight with the narrow margin until midway through the third period. Derek Nesbitt gave the Gladiators a little breathing room with his second goal of the season, deflecting Troy Milam's slapshot from the point.

Durno's two goals put some icing on the cake while Fields upped his goaltending record to 7-1-0.