GRENNVILLE, S.C. -- The Gwinnett Gladiators tied the game with nine seconds left in regulation on a power-play goal and then beat rival Greenville in the sixth round of the shootout to get a huge 3-2 win Friday at the Bi-Lo Center.
The Gladiators are battling Greenville for the top spot in the division and conference. After going more than a year without winning at the Bi-Lo Center, Gwinnett has claimed two straight there and remains the No. 1 team in the East. Friday's win, coupled with a loss by Wheeling, secured home-ice advantage for the Gladiators in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.
Joey Haddad, returned from AHL Hamilton three days ago, scored the game-tying goal at 19:51 of the third.
Down 2-1 in the third, Gwinnett (39-18-7-4) was down to its last gasp. But an elbowing penalty by Justin Bowers and an empty net for the Gladiators gave them a 6-on-4 advantage.
Haddad threw a puck into the crease that ricocheted off goalie Jason Missian's left skate and into the net. Pat Galivan and Dallas Jackson chipped in assists in Haddad's first game back.
Both goaltenders stood tall through a scoreless overtime and shootout. In the third round Nikita Kashirsky put Gwinnett ahead, but Kale Kerbashian quickly equalized for Greenville (40-23-2-3) in round four.
In round six, Gwinnett goalie Marc Cheverie stopped Bretton Cameron, setting the stage for Tyler Murovich. The Pittsburgh native beat Missiaen through the five-hole with a quick wrist shot, securing the 3-2 win.
Cheverie made 23 saves and turned away five of six Road Warriors in the shootout to secure his eighth win of the season.
Gwinnett went 2-for-6 on the power play while holding Greenville to 0-for-2. The loss was only Greenville's third when leading after two periods this season (21-1-1-1).
The lone tally of a fast-paced, physical opening period came off the stick of Road Warriors forward Sean Berkstresser at 11:53.
Brandon Wong's third short-handed goal in the last two games added to the Warriors lead at 2:50 of the second, but the Gladiators had an answer.
Former Dartmouth forward Doug Jones, playing in his first pro game, hammered home a rebound off Matt MacKenzie's point shot. Jackson had the other assist on the Marietta native's power-play goal at 12:45.
The teams play again tonight in Greenville.