Gladiators steamrolled
Mississippi cruises past Gwinnett to close gap

BILOXI, Miss. - The Gwinnett Gladiators got off to another bad start in Mississippi and were routed 9-3 by the Sea Wolves on Tuesday.

The shocking nine goals allowed by the Gladiators set a new franchise record.

Mississippi raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and the Gladiators never caught up. Gwinnett is now just one point ahead of the Sea Wolves for fourth place in the ECHL South Division.

The Gladiators were in Biloxi, Miss., a week ago and fell behind 4-1 before making it interesting in the third. They still lost that game and the need to learn from that game has been mentioned several times by several players and head coach Jeff Pyle since.

It seems, however, that didn't happen and Gwinnett watched it's two-game winning streak end.

Travis Fuller got the Gladiators on the board 59 seconds after Mississippi gained its 3-0 lead. He picked up a rebound in the slot and flipped the puck past an outstretched Mississippi netminder Ryan Munce at 15:32 of the first period.

Ryan Menai answered with the Sea Wolves' fourth tally 3:52 into the second period and chased starting goalie Joe Fallon from the net.

Josh Johnson fared no better. Less than a minute later, Mathieu Melanson made it 5-1.

The Gladiators cut the gap to 5-3 in the second period. That was as close as they'd get.

Pat Bateman picked up a loose puck in the right wing circle and beat Munce on a second effort in the slot. Bateman's 13th goal of the season came at 5:38 of the second.

Myles Stoesz notched his third goal of the season, jamming a wrap-around attempt past Munce at 10:16 to pull Gwinnett back within two goals. Fuller and Jeff Mason had the assists on the tally for Gwinnett.

But Ryan Cruthers and Melanson each scored their second goals of the game in the third to slam the door on Gwinnett's comeback attempt.

The avalanche of goals continued as Melanson earned a hat trick and Chris Zarb capped a disastrous outing with just 16 seconds left in the game.

Not only did the Gladiators suffer a definitive loss, third-place Charlotte beat South Carolina to move five points ahead of Gwinnett in the standings.