Berti scores game-winner in OT for Gladiators

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Recently returned forward Adam Berti scored the game-winning goal in overtime, lifting the Gwinnett Gladiators past South Carolina for a 3-2 victory Tuesday at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Berti was just reassigned to the Gladiators by AHL Rockford on Monday and secured the extra point for Gwinnett with his goal at 2:18 of overtime.

Working on the power play after South Carolina tough guy Nate Kiser got called for hooking, Berti picked up a rebound and whacked the puck past goalie Ian Vigier.

Despite letting a 2-0 lead slip away in the third period, the Gladiators remain unbeaten when leading after 40 minutes at 11-0-1. Gwinnett (18-18-4, 40 points) improved to 5-2-1 against a strong South Carolina team this season and got a new career record 45 saves from Joe Fallon in the win.

Gwinnett scored first late in the first period. Jordan Fox found a loose puck in the slot and flicked it over an outstretched Vigier. Mike Looby and Matt Siddall assisted on the goal at 16:28.

The Gladiators doubled their lead with the only goal of the second period, despite being outshot 14-5.

Jeff Mason scored 2:39 into the period to give Gwinnett a 2-0 margin on his fifth goal of the season. Mason picked up a rebound in the right wing circle and punched the puck past Vigier.

But Maxime Lacroix cut it to 2-1 just 51 seconds into the third. His 20th goal of the season came on South Carolina's first shot of the period.

His 21st goal of the season tied the game less than four minutes later and ended up forcing overtime.

The Gladiators return home to play a pair of games at the Arena at Gwinnett Center this weekend. Charlotte is here Friday and the division-leading Florida Everblades roll into town Saturday.

- From staff reports