Chicago calls up Stepp

Gwinnett Gladiators forward Joel Stepp was called up to Chicago of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

It is Stepp's third call up to the AHL this season, but first to Chicago. Stepp was acquired by the Atlanta Thrashers on March 1 from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in exchange for goalie Jani Hurme and immediately assigned to the Gladiators.

In 16 games this season with Gwinnett, Stepp has three goals and 12 assists.

Before being traded to Atlanta, Stepp split time between Augusta and AHL Portland. Stepp posted 39 points in 38 games with the Lynx and has recorded three points in 17 AHL games this season.

Stepp should be available for the Wolves for their 8:30 p.m. start tonight in Peoria.

The Gladiators, who have already clinched a first round bye in the 2006 Kelly Cup playoffs, close out the regular season at the Arena at Gwinnett Center today against South Carolina and Saturday against Augusta.

Also of note on Thursday, Gladiators alternate captain Jeff Campbell tied for runner-up honors in the ECHL Sportsman of the Year voting. Florida's Steve Saviano won the award, as determined by league coaches.

Last year, Gwinnett's Kris Goodjohn was selected for the honor.

- Christine Troyke