Gladiators go down in overtime 5-4

CHARLOTTE — A late third-period collapse cost the Gwinnett Gladiators a much-needed victory Thursday night in a 5-4 overtime loss to the host Charlotte Checkers.

The loss was another setback for the Gladiators, who hoped to pick up two more points in the American Conference standings. Instead the Checkers' David Marshall scored twice in just under six minutes in the third period to force overtime, where Andrew Carroll scored the game-winning goal to sink the Gladiators 5-4.

The Gladiators fall to 28-26-4-3 while Charlotte improves to 33-20-4-3.

Gwinnett scored its first goal with just over three minutes remaining in the first period. Matt Francis picked up a puck along the right boards with Tim Miller and Michael Forney crashing the net. Francis fired a shot through traffic that hit a skate blade and landed right on the tape of Forney's stick. With netminder Ryan Munce down on the ice, Forney slid a shot inside the right post to tie the game at 1-1.

The Gladiators scored later after Pat Galivan and Phil Youngclaus teamed up to clear the puck out of the Gwinnett zone.

Miller raced to the loose puck and blasted a slap shot just inside the right post.

Gwinnett grabbed its first lead of the game just 45 seconds later when Youngclaus ripped a slap shot from the right point, and Galivan tipped the rebound free from Munce. Scott Mifsud slid the rebound into the net to put the Gladiators up 3-2 heading into the second intermission.

Sam Roberts increased the Gladiators lead to 4-2 with a power play marker early in the third period. Roberts held a puck inside the left point and blasted a shot that went off a shin guard and into the net.