Late goal sinks Gladiators

AUGUSTA - Augusta scored the game winner with eight seconds left in regulation, handing the Gwinnett Gladiators a painful 6-5 loss on Tuesday.

It was the first lead of the game for the Lynx, who trail Gwinnett by nearly 30 points in the division standings.

The Gladiators (33-11-5, 71 points) had two two-goal leads in the first period and played a see-saw third, but didn't fall behind until Ryan Lang beat goalie Sean Fields under the cross bar at 19:52.

Augusta (20-25-4, 44 points) battled back to tie the game three times after getting down 2-0 on a pair of goals by Milan Gajic.

Gwinnett, which had defenseman Danny Eberly returned from AHL Norfolk in time for the road trip, led 3-1 on Cam Brown's goal at 13:39 of the first period.

But Augusta tied it 3-3 in the second period and matched the Gladiators goal-for-goal in the final 20 minutes.

Jeff Campbell put Gwinnett up 4-3 with a rising shot 3:35 into the third period. That advantage was short-lived with Martin Lapointe scoring at 5:00.

Brad Schell gave the Gladiators their last lead at 9:50, beating Augusta replacement goalie Jason Wolfe with a slap shot from the left-wing faceoff circle. Gajic assisted to make it a three-point night for the rookie under AHL Providence contract, but it wasn't enough to keep Gwinnett from taking its second loss in three games.

Small consolation was that second-place Florida was also defeated and the Gladiators maintained their 10-point margin in the ECHL South. Gwinnett's next games are back-to-back home dates with Florida on Friday and Saturday

Note: Another defenseman, All-Star Troy Milam, also returned to the team from a callup to AHL Chicago, but was immediately placed on the seven-day injured reserve.