Gladiators continue to see roster movement

DULUTH -- The revolving door keeps spinning.

The Gwinnett Gladiators traded three players to San Francisco, signed Brian Elser from the SPHL, had Corey Fienhage called up to AHL Rochester and got Jason Clark back from injury all before their game Tuesday night in South Carolina.

The Gladiators acquired forward Justin Bowers and the rights to defenseman Sacha Guimond, who is with AHL Worcester right now, from San Francisco on Monday.

In exchange, they sent Rylan Galiardi, Christian Ouellet and Cody Carlson to the Bulls. All three have been with Gwinnett since the start of the season and have seen increased minutes over the last few weeks. Carlson, in fact, was a key cog in the Gladiators last home win, a 4-2 victory over Kalamazoo on Saturday.

Galiardi scored the game-tying goal with 6.5 seconds left in regulation the next day to help Gwinnett pick up a point in a shootout loss against Kalamazoo.

"Any time someone gets traded, it's tough," captain Andy Brandt said. "Because chemistry gets broken up a little. You gain friends, but at the same time, you understand it's a business."

Bowers has yet to arrive from the West Coast, but was expected today. If he gets here in time, he might get to play against his former team. The Gladiators make the brief trip to Greenville today. Bowers split the last two seasons between Greenville and the AHL. Last year, he led the Road Warriors with 79 points in 69 games.

Guimond was called up to Worcester on Jan. 11 and has played two games with the Sharks so far.

"With guys in the American League, we'll just have to wait to see what happens," Brandt said. "It's about staying patient and knowing we're going to have things coming down the pipeline eventually and grinding out this stretch until that happens."

The division-leading Gladiators, a scant three points ahead of Greenville in the South, are in the midst of a run of seven games in 10 days. The team was given Wednesday completely off and Brandt said it was a welcome rest.

"We got in late (Tuesday night), but part of being a professional is not laying around all day," Brandt said. "It's important to get out of bed, walk around the mall or whatever."

Gwinnett lost 3-1 to South Carolina on Tuesday night, playing with just 13 skaters.

"For the most part last night, we played a really good game," Brandt said. "For the majority of the game, we controlled the play. We just made a couple mistakes and they capitalized.

"We've been shorthanded on and off throughout the season and I think we've thrived on that. For the most part all year, we've answered the bell when we were short."

They fired 34 shots on former Gladiators goalie Jeff Jakaitis, and he stopped all but one.

"He played well, especially in the third period," Brandt said. "We did a good job getting traffic in front of him in the first two periods and you know he's an acrobatic goalie. He never gives up on a puck."

Jason Clark scored Gwinnett's only goal of the game, returning from injured reserve to light the lamp for the first time as a pro. Clark, a rookie out of the University of Wisconsin assigned to the team by AHL Bridgeport, has missed the last six games. He finally beat Jakaitis halfway through the third period, but the Gladiators couldn't dig out of the early hole they dug.

After playing Greenville tonight, the team returns to Gwinnett for a home game against Florida on Friday.