Friday, February 6, 2009
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Gwinnett Daily Post
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Gwinnett Gladiators overcame a two-goal first period deficit to knock off the Charlotte Checkers 4-3 on Thursday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
Charlotte took a 1-0 lead on the Gladiators (19-20-5) 3:44 into the first period and Brad Ralph pushed the Checkers lead to 2-0 after a Gladiators defensive turnover inside the Gwinnett zone. Gwinnett got on the board on the power play at 5:55 of the second period. Parked along the goal line, Dirk Southern was able to roll the puck over the leg of Checkers netminder Jeff Jakaitis for the goal. Pat Bateman had an assist on the tally for the Gladiators.
Jeff Mason tied the game at 2-2 with his seventh goal of the season. Mason corralled a rebound in the slot and beat Jakaitis to the short side tucking the puck just inside the near post for the goal. Bateman and Brennan Turner posted the assists on the power-play goal for Gwinnett coming halfway through the second period.
Charlotte regained the lead with their first power play goal of the game at 12:35 of the second period. Ryan Murphy beat Johnson from point blank range in the slot for the marker.
Jordan Fox tied the game at 3-3 early in the third period by ripping a slap shot past Jakaitis for the goal.
Gwinnett took the lead for good on its third power play goal of the game when Tom Zanoski found a loose puck in the slot and ripped a quick shot past Jakaitis.
Johnson finished with 34 saves in the win for Gwinnett as the Gladiators went 3-for-8 on the power play while limiting the Checkers to just one power play goal on 8 chances in the contest.