Saturday, October 27, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Newly assigned Phoenix Coyotes prospect Evan Bloodoff scored two first period goals and tacked on a late assist as the Gladiators thumped the Fort Wayne Komets 4-2 for their third straight win Friday night in front of 7,417 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
The physical contest featured 120 penalty minutes -- most of which came with just seven seconds left in the third. A Brent Henley punch from behind on a Gladiator set off a massive scrum, with three fights breaking out leading to 85 penalty minutes and four game misconducts.
Mike Lee picked up his third win in a row for Gwinnett, stopping 18 of 20 shots. His counterpart Marco Cousineau turned aside 33 of 37.
Bloodoff, the Coyotes sixth round pick in 2009, got the Gladiators on the board in the first, as he finished a fantastic cross ice-set-up from Doug Jones at 5:34. Casey Pierro-Zabotel also had an assist, as Gwinnett blitzed Cousineau early.
Fort Wayne drew even at 7:11 on Brandon Marino's team-leading fourth goal of the season, but Gwinnett again took the lead before the period was through. At 10:39 Bloodoff cut into the slot on the power play and let loose a wrist shot that beat Cousineau high glove side for a 2-1 Gwinnett edge.
Jones added to the lead 7:15 into the second period. Forward Tony Lucia took control of the puck behind the Komets net and found Jones with some free space in the slot for a one-timer to make it a 3-1 game. The Komets made a game of it late, as Marino potted his second of the night at the 12:07 mark, but just 57 seconds later, the Gladiators found an answer. Bloodoff fed Lucia, who drove to the slot while outmuscling a defenseman and tapped the puck through the air over the glove of Cousineau.