Gladiators deal defenseman



DULUTH — To complete an earlier trade with Idaho that brought forward John-Scott Dickson to the team, the Gwinnett Gladiators sent defenseman Matt Case to the Steelheads on Tuesday.

In 38 games this season as a rookie with the Gladiators, Case has three points and 14 penalty minutes.

“I like Caser a lot,” head coach Jeff Pyle said.

“But if we get Will (Colbert) and (Tim Filangieri) back, he’d be sitting here anyway.”

Pyle expects both those defensemen to return to the lineup for Gwinnett’s next game — which fortunately for the health of the team, isn’t until Sunday.

After a disastrous December, the Gladiators have earned points in each of their last seven games and are right back in the division race.

“We wanted to just try to crawl back into this thing and I think we did a great job,” Pyle said. “I know a lot of people were down on us. But they don’t get what’s going on, so I can’t expect them to understand.

“We have eight guys right now that are out of the lineup (either to injury or call-up to the AHL).”

Alternate captain Andy Brandt has been a key cog in the January resuscitation and his efforts made him the eighth player missing from the lineup when AHL Manitoba came calling Tuesday.

Brandt has 23 points in 43 games this season, but is riding a five-game point streak that includes scoring four goals and adding three assists.