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Gladiators fall in ninth round of shootout after late rally

DULUTH — Doug Jones found Rylan Galiardi on the far side of the crease with the final seconds ticking off the clock.

With Gwinnett on the power play and goalie Louis Domingue pulled for another attacker, Galiardi was open and smashed the tying goal into the back of the net with 6.5 seconds left in regulation.

Kalamazoo prevailed in the ninth round of the shootout, former Gladiator Sam Ftorek roofing the puck over goalie Louis Domingue, and won 4-3, but Gwinnett still picked up a point despite giving up leads of 1-0 and 2-1 on Sunday.

Coming into the game, the division-leading Gladiators were 15-0-1-0 when leading after the first period — which they were courtesy of a short-handed tally by captain Andy Brandt.

They were also 22-1-1-0 when scoring first — which Jones provided just 4:20 into the game.

Brandt broke up a 1-1 tie with a short-handed goal late in the first period.

He stepped in front of a pass high in the Gladiators' zone and churned along the left wing on a 2-on-1 breakaway with John Scrymgeour in the middle of the ice. Brandt took the shot and ripped under goaltender Joel Martin to restore Gwinnett's lead at 17:12.

Jones scored the first goal of the game, just 4:20 in, to give the Gladiators (25-12-1-1, 52 points) their original lead. Jones used a screen in front and swept to the far side of the net for an open look and a 1-0 lead.

Kalamazoo tied it 1-1 on an unassisted shot from the high slot by John Armstrong at 10:17.

After Brandt's shorty, the Wings tied it again 3:34 into the second period. Nick Sirota got a feed from high in the zone and banged a low shot from the post past Domingue.

Sirota's second straight goal gave Kalamazoo its first lead against the Gladiators at 7:49 of the third period. Sirota launched the water bottle sitting on top of Domingue's net into the air with his top-shelf shot.