Gladiators close out 2012 with a victory

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Coyotes prospect Mike Lee stopped 42 shots, and the Gwinnett Gladiators cruised to a 3-1 New Year’s Eve win over the Evansville IceMen Monday night at the Ford Center.

Lee snapped a six-start losing streak, and helped Gwinnett (22-11-1-0) reclaim sole possession of first place in the South Division.

Tyler Murovich wasted no time putting the Gladiators ahead, as he slipped a quick shot past Evansville (11-20-0-3) goalie Paul Dainton from the far side just 22 seconds into the game. Christian Ouellet and Scott Arnold had the assists, and Gwinnett held that 1-0 lead through one period.

Murovich struck again early in the second. This time it took the Pittsburgh native 39 seconds into the middle period to find the back of the net, as he raced down the right wing on a two-on-one and ripped a wrist shot top shelf over the glove of Dainton for a 2-0 Gwinnett lead. Cody Carlson assisted, and the edge stayed at two goals through two.

Coyotes prospect Scott Arnold padded the lead 5:32 into the third on the power play. A shot from the point shot off Dainton right to the near side of the net, and Arnold tapped it in for his third goal as a Gladiator. Andy Brandt and Carlson had the helpers.

Matt Schepke scored late for Evansville to break up the shutout, but it was too little too late and Gwinnett ended 2012 in style with the 3-1 win.

The Gladiators start 2013 in Fort Wayne, as they take on the Komets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.