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Gladiators 'power' way past Ice Pilots

From staff reports

PENSACOLA - The Gwinnett Gladiators used three power play goals to knock off the Pensacola Ice Pilots 6-4 on Saturday night at the Pensacola Civic Center. Gwinnett improves to 19-11-4 on the season with the win.

Jon Awe moved one goal shy of the ECHL record for most power play goals by a defenseman in one season as he opened the scoring 5:05 into the first period, posting his 15th power play goal of the season and his 17th goal of the year. Scott Mifsud fed Awe at the point to set up the marker for the Gladiators as the defenseman ripped a one-time shot past Ice Pilots netminder Ben Gray. Brad Schell also had an assist on the goal.

Pensacola stormed back, posting the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead on the

Gladiators.

Dwayne Hay recorded the Ice Pilots' first marker at the 8:15 mark of the first period as he clanked the puck off the far post past Gladiators netminder Dan Turple and into the back of the net for the marker. Nate Metcalfe dropped the puck off for Hay in the left wing circle to collect an assist on the goal. John Hecimovic collected an assist on the goal as well.

David Wrigley gave Pensacola the lead on the power play as he was parked in the slot all by himself and took a centering pass from Greg Watson out of the corner and beat Turple from point blank range. Hecimovic had his second assist of the game on the marker with 13:19 remaining in the first period. Jamie Milam tied the game at two as he raced coast-to-coast with Colton Fretter and finished the 2-on-1 break by beating Gray to the short side with a snapshot from the hashmarks. Schell had the assist, his second of the contest, as he moved the puck up the left wing to Milam to set up the goal at the 13:50 mark of the opening period.

Gwinnett posted three goals within the first three minutes of the second period to give the Gladiators an early 5-2 lead on the Ice Pilots. Blue Bennefield collected his seventh goal of the season as he found a loose puck in the slot and ripped it past Gray for the marker. Chad Painchaud had an assist on the Gladiators power play goal just 1:08 into the second period.

Joel Stepp gave Gwinnett a 4-2 lead as he picked up a loose puck in the slot and ripped the puck past Gray just 32 seconds after Bennefield's marker. Stepp's goal came unassisted for the Gladiators on the power play.

Andy Contois had the last of the Gladiators quick three goals early in the middle stanza as he walked down the left wing and beat Gray to the far post. Schell and Mifsud had the assists on the goal for Gwinnett at the 2:45 mark of the second period.

Pensacola answered on a power play at the 7:46 mark of the second period, as Mike Wirll was able to beat Turple for the marker. Nikita Korovkin and Travis Lisabeth collected the assists on the goal for the Ice Pilots.

Scott Mifsud was able to get the goal back for the Gladiators at the 16:56 mark of the period as he was parked on the left side of the slot and a rebound bounced right to the forward where he punched the puck past Gray for the marker. Fretter and Schell both added assists on the goal.

Hay posted his second goal of the night with 2:05 left in the third period to get the Ice Pilots within two goals but Pensacola could get no closer. Hay deflected Metcalfe's slapshot at the point past Turple for the marker. Wrigley also had an assist on the goal.

Turple finished with 32 saves in the win for the Gladiators as Gwinnett went 3-for-5 on the power play in the

victory.