Gladiators host Everblades in key game

DULUTH - The Gwinnett Gladiators have four hockey games this week, but their most important may be tonight.

Gwinnett hosts the Florida Everblades, who they trail in the division standings, today at 7:05 p.m. in the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Florida leads the Gladiators by two points in the ECHL South Division.

The teams have already met eight times this season, with Gwinnett winning five times, including a 2-1 mark at home. The season record also includes a 4-2 win over the Everblades in their last

meeting in Florida.

After tonight's game, the Gladiators travel to the Columbia Inferno on Thursday, host the Augusta Lynx on Saturday and visit the Charlotte Checkers on Sunday.

Looking for 100

Brad Schell, who returned last week from an AHL call-up to Chicago, is looking to become the first ECHL player to top 100 points in a season since Buddy Smith of the Arkansas RiverBlades tallied 104 points during the 2002-03 season.

Schell currently has 99 points after adding an assist in last Friday's 4-3 shootout win over Columbia.

He leads teammate Scott Mifsud, who is second in the league in scoring, by 18 points.

Record pace

With 100 power-play goals, Gwinnett is still on pace to break an ECHL record in that category.

The ECHL mark stands at 115, set by the Nashville Knights during the 1995-96 season. The Gladiators need to average 0.941 power-play goals over their final 16 games to tie the ECHL record.

More on the way to 20

Five Gwinnett players - Colton Fretter (35), Schell (23), Jon Awe (21), Mike Vigilante (20) and Mifsud (21) - have topped the 20-goal mark this season, but several others are pushing that mark.

Jamie Milam scored his 17th goal last Friday, joining Chad Painchaud (18) and Andy Contois (16) as 20-goal candidates.

Behind that group are Joel Stepp and Blue Benefield with 12 goals each and Jim Jackson with 11.

- From staff reports