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Greenville's third-period push sinks Gladiators

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Greenville took yet another game from the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday, breaking up a tie game in the third and winning 4-2.

It had been over three months since the two teams that lie just two hours apart met, but they played like familiar rivals.

Tied 2-2 in the third, the Gladiators put up a fight, outshooting the home team 18-to-9, but couldn’t find a way to beat Road Warriors goaltender Jason Missiaen again.

Andrew Yogan scored the eventual game winner on a back door pass just beyond the reach of Gwinnett goalie Mark Guggenberger, just 1:22 into the period.

Sean Berkstresser scored the insurance goal at 11:01 on a squeaker that managed to get under Guggenberger’s right arm. For the Gwinnett goaltender, it was his sixth straight game in net, and only his second loss.

The teams battled back and forth for the first 40 minutes.

Lindsay Sparks gave the Road Warriors a 1-0 lead on a centering pass from Jordie Johnston in the right wing corner. Sparks managed to get his stick in between the flying puck and his skate in the far side of the crease, tipping the puck into the empty net.

With exactly two minutes left in the first period, Alpharetta native Will MacDonald evened the score. Joey Haddad drew multiple defenders to his side in the right faceoff circle and took the shot in on Missiaen. The goaltender made the initial save, but the rebound went to MacDonald of the left side. The Princeton graduate backhanded the puck down, switched to his forehand and buried the puck in the empty net.

Haddad was held scoreless for the first time in seven games, but he did extend his point streak to eight with the assist. He is tied with Alaska’s Peter Sivak for the longest goal streak in the ECHL this season.

Michael St. Croix gave Greenville another one goal lead at 2:12 of the second period.

Another 2:12 later, the Gladiators responded again with another Ivy-Leaguer goal, this time from Harvard grad Marshall Everson on a perfect pass from Brendan Walker in the low slot through traffic. Everson had open ice in front to bury the one-time shot, knotting the score at two.

Gwinnett returns home today for the start of a two-game weekend home-and-home set against the ECHL’s other South Carolina team, the Eastern Conference-leading South Carolina Stingrays.