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Galivan, Gladiators shut down Express

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DULUTH -- Pat Galivan scored twice and the Gwinnett Gladiators beat Chicago 3-1 on Saturday in front of 6,532 at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Galivan's game-winner came during a 5-on-3 power play with 2:18 remaining in a tight, tied game.

Galivan, at the top of the faceoff circle, lifted a smooth wrister past Chicago goalie Peter Mannino and Joey Haddad sealed the win with an empty netter. The team's 12th straight win at home kept it at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

"The only reason it went in was because Haddad had a great screen on their goalie," Galivan said of his second goal of the night. "It wasn't a hard shot or anything. So I give all the credit to Joey in front."

The Gladiators wrap up an eight-game homestand today at 4:05 p.m. against Kalamazoo.

"We're playing better and better every time we're here and the fans are unbelievable," Galivan said. "We've got one more game here at home and we've got to win it because we've got a big road trip coming up.

"We're setting ourselves up here nicely, but we've still got a long way to go."

It took the Gladiators a while to get the train rolling, but once again, they got timely scoring. Galivan's goals were his 50th and 51st in a Gwinnett uniform and came when the team needed them most.

After killing off three Express power plays, including 1:38 of two-man advantage, early in the third, the Gladiators got their turn at the end of the period.

"We spent a lot of time today watching video on their power play because they have some of the most talented players in the league," Galivan said. "We did a good job preparing and once again, our penalty killers did an excellent job, each and everyone of them, starting with (goalie Joe) Palmer."

Gwinnett played the last five minutes of the game on the power play when Tyler Donati tackled Tyler Murovich from behind on a breakaway. Donati got a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

A tripping penalty to Maxime Gratchev gave Gwinnett a two-minute 5-on-3 advantage with 2:35 left in regulation and Galivan cashed in 17 seconds later.

"We don't want to let the pressure off no matter what the situation is," Galivan said. "We wanted to make sure we kept on the gas pedal and drew another penalty."

Chicago scored first, converting on one of several odd-man rushes in the second period. But Gwinnett answered 1:11 later to tie the game 1-1.

"We didn't start off bad or anything," Galivan said. "We were just feeling them out. We didn't know too much about them so we were trying to recognize their strategy. Then once we did, 5-on-5, I think we controlled the game pretty well."

Palmer made a number of excellent saves in the second, denying the Express on two sure goals, only to not get quite enough of Scott Wietecha's one-timer. A turnover sprung Chicago on the odd-man rush again and Wietecha leaned into a crisp centering feed at 15:36.

Galivan's 50th goal as a Gladiator evened things up at 16:47. Galivan sniped a turnaround shot from the slot that beat Mannino over the shoulder.

"It totally changed the momentum," Galivan said. "We could have gotten down on ourselves, but getting that one right away kind of took the wind out of their sails and set us up well for the rest of the game."