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Gladiators fall hard to Wheeling

WHEELING - Chad Painchaud and Mike Vigilante each finished with a goal and an assist for the Gladiators but it wasn't enough as the Gladiators dropped a 7-4 decision on Saturday night to the Wheeling Nailers at the WesBanco Arena.

Gwinnett now falls to 10-6-4 on season.

Wheeling took a 1-0 lead just 2:53 into the first period as Sean Collins jammed the puck past Gladiators netminder Dan Turple from the slot for the marker.

Joe Guenther and Paul Bissionette collected the assists as they worked the puck in the Gladiators zone and set up Collins.

Guenther pushed the Nailers lead to 2-0 as he picked up a rebound in the left wing circle and punched the puck into an open. Collins and Bissonette picked up the assists on the goal just 3:16 into the first period.

Gwinnett answered in the first with a pair of power play goals to get the game even. Mike Vigilante picked up the fist marker as he picked up a rebound in the slot and flipped the puck past Wheeling netminder Andy Franck for the goal. Jon Awe and Scott Mifsud picked up the assists on the power play goal.

Jamie Milam's sixth goal of the season tied the game at two at the 11:32 mark of the first period. Milam ripped a slap shot from the point past Franck for the power play marker.

Chad Painchaud and Joel Stepp posted the assists on the goal for the Gladiators.

Wheeling got both goals back before the end of the first period. Bissionette posted the first of the two goals at the 14:54 mark as he beat Turple from the point with a slap shot.

Tim Wallace pushed the Nailers lead back to two goals with a power play goal at the 16:38 mark of the first period. Wallace found a rebound in the slot and punched it past Turple for the goal. Collins and Guenther each picked up an assist on the goal.

Wheeling pushed its lead to 5-2 on a goal by Joe Jensen 10:08 into the second period. Finishing a 2-on-1 break with Jon Foster, Jensen slid the puck through the legs of Turple from the slot for the marker.

Gwinnett cut the Nailers lead to 5-3 on Brad Schell's seventh goal of the season. Tucking the puck just inside the far post past Franck, Schell circled inside the Wheeling zone before unloading from the left wing circle.

Chad Painchaud picked up his fifth goal of the season as he took a centering feed from Mike Vigilante at the 4:54 mark and beat Franck in the slot to cut the Wheeling lead to a goal.

Cameron jammed the puck past Turple at the 7:44 mark of the third period to push the Wheeling lead back to two goals.

Gwinnett pulled Turple with more than two minutes left in the third period in an effort to pick up two goals but the Nailers posted an empty net goal to push their lead to three goals. Cheesman picked up the empty net marker unassisted for the Nailers.

Turple posted 22 saves in the loss while the Gladiators outshot the Nailers 39-29 in the loss. Gwinnett posted two power play goals in the loss while Wheeling was a perfect one-for-one on the power play.