Gladiators tie game late, but fall in shootout

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Alpharetta native Brad Miller tied the game late in the third, but the Gladiators fell 5-4 in a shootout to the Toledo Walleye on Saturday night in front of 7,474 fans at the Huntington Center.

Pat Galivan also scored two goals for Gwinnett (6-3-2-2), which did pick up a point to stay in second in the South Division. Toledo never trailed (3-7-0-0) in the tightly contested affair. Marc Cheverie made 21 saves for Gwinnett, while Carter Hutton turned aside 34 shots for Toledo.

The Walleye got on the board first as forward Adam Estoclet deked through the Gwinnett defense and slid the puck past Cheverie at the 12:00 mark. Gwinnett drew even late in the period, as Galivan buried his team-leading sixth tally of the season off a point blank rebound of a Joey Haddad shot. Rookie defenseman Corey Fienhage also had an assist, as Haddad extended his point streak to six games.

After registering just 23 shots on Friday, the Glads pelted Hutton with 19 in the first period alone on Saturday.

The second period played out similar to the first. Toledo gained a 2-1 edge on Harrison Reed's first goal of the season just 45 seconds in, but Galivan struck again to tie things up. The Gwinnett forward cut through a couple defenseman, fought off another and lifted a shot over the shoulder of a sprawling Hutton to make it 2-2 at 19:26. Fienhage had another assist on Galivan's marvelous effort.

In the third, Toledo regained the lead on a Bryan Rufenach powerplay goal at 2:51, but Gwinnett quickly tied it at 4:09 as Haddad followed up on a rebound chance in front for his fifth goal of the season with Nikita Kashirsky assisting.

Toledo went up 4-3 at 10:14 as forward Evan Rankin tallied his 60th career goal with the Walleye, but for the fourth time the Glads came back. With the goalie pulled, Gwinnett forced a loose puck between the circles and Miller put a wrister past Hutton high glove side to even the game at 4-4 with just 1:48 left in the third. Miller's fourth goal of the season was assisted by Shane Sims and Andy Brandt.

Through a scoreless overtime, David Gilbert and Estoclet scored on the Walleye's first two shootout tries, while Miller found the back of the net for Gwinnett. Brandt had a chance to extend the shootout in the fifth round but was stopped by Hutton to seal the 5-4 Toledo shootout win.