ORLANDO, Fla. — Gladiators defenseman Dallas Jackson provided the offense, and Coyotes prospect Mike Lee provided the lights out goaltending as Gwinnett topped Orlando 2-1 Sunday afternoon at the Amway Center for the team’s eighth win in row.
After a scoreless opening period, Jackson took over in the second. The Edson, Alberta native blasted a feed from Casey Pierro-Zabotel at the point past Orlando (6-5-2-1) goalie John Curry 12:20 into the period on the power play to put Gwinnett (11-3-1-0) on the board.
An opportunistic Jackson provided some breathing room 3:52 later. He jumped out of the box after serving a minor penalty, stripped the puck away from an Orlando defenseman, and beat Curry five-hole on the ensuing breakaway for a 2-0 Gladiators lead through two periods.
Orlando forward Rob Mignardi cut the Gladiators lead in half, blasting a one-timer from the far circle past Mike Lee with 6:59 left in the third, but that was as close as Orlando would get. Lee was brilliant, as he stopped 31 of 32 shots for his fifth straight win. Lee leads the ECHL as of Monday morning in wins, goals against average and save percentage.
Curry took the loss for the Solar Bears, surrendering two goals on 22 shots before being replaced by former NHL goaltender Hannu Toivenen for the third period. Toivonen turned aside all sic shots he faced.
The Gladiators are now 10-0-1-0 when scoring the first goal, and are a perfect 7-0 in the month of November. They also lead the ECHL in points with 23.
Gwinnett is next in action at home against Greenville at 7:05 p.m. on Nov. 17.