Gladiators drop game in OT


DULUTH -- The Gwinnett Gladiators didn't get their first win, but they did pick up their first point.

Greenville tied the game late in regulation on the power play and Brandon Wong won it 1:27 into overtime on Saturday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

The Gladiators led 2-1 with 2:13 left in the third period, but couldn't hang on in front of 6,025.

Wong swept across the circles and drilled the puck into the top corner to keep Gwinnett (0-2-1) winless so far this season.

"We did a lot of good things out there," said captain Andy Brandt, who scored the Gladiators second goal. "We've been doing a lot of good things. But when we make mistakes, it costs us. They're big mistakes.

"We focused on our start, coming out with a little more jam -- and we had it for 56 minutes. But as we all know, you have to play 60 minutes."

The Gladiators finally got their first lead of the season when Casey Pierro-Zabotel banged home his own rebound on a power play at 14:21 of the opening period.

Cycling on the man advantage, Tyler Murovich was on the boards and found Pierro-Zabotel in the high slot. The fourth-year pro's shot came right back and he buried it.

Greenville (2-2-0) tied it at 4:02 of the second period on a rising shot from the point by Jeremy Gouchie. It went over goalie Mike Lee's glove and under the crossbar.

But Brandt kept his stick down and got a perfect feed from Tony Lucia to restore Gwinnett's lead midway through the second.

Lucia swooped down the wing and found Brandt crashing the net. Brandt outmuscled defender Ashton Rome, who was draped on his back, and tipped the puck past goalie Adam Courchaine at 11:43 during 4-on-4 action.

The Gladiators held that 2-1 lead until the waining minutes of regulation when Greenville took advantage of a roughing call to Kale Kerbashian. The former Road Warrior was dinged for an ill-advised retaliation penalty and Shayne Wiebe had an easy putback on a rebound in the slot to tie it.

"The good thing is, we get to go there tomorrow and redeem ourselves," Brandt said.

Puck drop at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville is set for 4 p.m.