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Gladiators dig hole too deep
Gwinnett falls to Checkers 4-2

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Checkers used three second period goals to cruise to a 4-2 win over the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

After trailing 4-0, Gwinnett got goals from Pat Bateman and Jeff Mason late in the third to get back into the contest, but the Gladiators could get no closer. Gwinnett falls to 29-31-6 on the season with the loss.

After a scoreless tie through the first period, Gwinnett was unable to take an early lead on a penalty shot opportunity 2:35 into the second period. Jordan Fox was awarded the penalty shot for Gwinnett as he was hooked up sliding into the Charlotte zone. Fox was denied by Checkers netmidner Jeff Jakaitis to keep the game scoreless.

Matthew Ford broke through for the Checkers with the game's first goal at 11:40 of the second period. Then Charlotte added to its lead at 17:58 on the power play. Marty Guerin found a loose puck in the slot and beat Joe Fallon for the tally.

Ethan Graham was credited with the Checkers' third goal of the game, coming just 44 seconds later.

Charlotte pushed its lead to 4-0 at 6:07 of the third period on Guerin's second goal of the game.

Then came the Gladiators.

Gwinnett got on the board at 11:19 when Bateman threw the puck off the back of the leg of Jakaitis to get Gwinnett on the board. Scott Marchesi had an assist on the goal for the Gladiators.

Mason cut the Checkers lead in half at 4-2 with his 13th goal of the season.

On a power play, Gwinnett pulled Fallon with a minute and a half left in the third but could get no closer in the loss.

Fallon finished with 36 saves in the losing effort for the Gladiators. Gwinnett went 0-for-4 on the power play while Charlotte posted one goal on six chances on the man advantage.