Gladiators hang on to beat Devils

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

TRENTON, NJ — Akim Aliu’s power-play goal in the second period proved to be the game-winner, as Chris Carrozzi stood tall late to help the Gwinnett Gladiators to a 3-2 win Friday night at the Sun National Bank Center.

Carrozzi stopped 41 of 43 shots, including several huge stops during a late Trenton (21-30-4) flurry. The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Gladiators (23-25-7) and keeps them in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Gwinnett is now 17-0-0 when leading after two periods this season.

Will Colbert opened the scoring with a blast from the point past a screened Jeff Lerg to give Gwinnett the 1-0 edge. Colbert’s fifth of the season at 6:16 of the first was assisted by Pat Galivan and Justin Milo.

At 8:49 Andy Brandt broke in alone shorthanded and beat Lerg high glove side for his 15th, unassisted, for a 2-0 Gladiators lead.

Trenton got within one at 9:44 however, as Ryan Hayes put the score at 2-1 at the end of 20 minutes.

The Devils evened the score 13:22 into the second period, as Ryan Ginand beat Carrozzi for his 24th goal. Gwinnett answered late in the period, as Aliu buried his ninth goal in 11 games with Gwinnett on the power play at 17:03. Brandt and Galivan picked up assists and the Gladiators led 3-2 after two.

Despite several chances in the third Gwinnett hung on for the win, the third 3-2 decision in three matchups between these two teams this season. Gwinnett dropped a 3-2 overtime decision and beat Trenton 3-2 back in late October.

The Gladiators went 1-for-5 on the power play and held Trenton to 0-for-8 on the man advantage.

The teams meet today at 7:30 p.m. in Trenton.