Gladiators' Spivak leaves early to play for Israel

DULUTH — Daniel Spivak, one of the Gwinnett Gladiators defensive mainstays this season, left a little early in order to play for Team Israel in the IIHF Division II World Championships.

Spivak will miss Gwinnett's last two games of the season, but he left with the blessings of head coach Rick Emmett.

"A situation like that for him is a great opportunity," Emmett said.

Spivak was born in Israel and has been a key contributor in building its national program over the years. He's played for the Israelis in international competition every summer since 2004.

The 25-year-old, who left on a flight overseas Sunday, played 65 games for the Gladiators this season. He had one goal and 10 points while finishing with a team-best plus-15 rating.

"Dan's been phenomenal this year," Emmett said. "Stats don't tell everything, but if you look at his, he's a player that's been extremely consistent all year. He's obviously bought into what we've done and his plus-minus speaks volumes."

Another defenseman, Jonathan Narbonne, was loaned to AHL Hamilton on Monday. In his rookie season, Narbonne, has maintained a consistent presence on the Gladiators’ blueline. He has two goals and 16 assists in 58 games for the Gladiators after playing 229 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Subsequently, the Gladiators re-signed Nolan Descoteaux, who had just been released Friday to make room on the roster with Justin Weller returned from AHL Portland.

Descoteaux, 24, had one assist in nine games for the Gladiators after wrapping up his collegiate season at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he was once teammates with Spivak. He was still in town and Gwinnett added him to the roster in preparation for Wednesday's home game against Elmira.