Jackals fall to Gwinnett
The Elmira Jackals fell to the Gwinnett Gladiators by a 3-1 score on Saturday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The loss dropped Elmira's record to 6-2-0 on the season.
In their first, and only meeting of the season, the Jackals and Gladiators appeared to go through a feeling out phase early in the first period. Scoring chances were hard to come by and the teams combined for only nine shots through the first half of the period. As the teams settled into a rhythm it was the Gladiators who struck first. From almost behind the net, Evan Bloodoff sent a centering pass that Casey Pierro-Zabotel shot past Maxime Clermont at 14:56. Elmira ramped up its attack over the final five minutes and tested Gwinnett's Mark Lee with four shots but could not find the back of the net.
In the second period a pair of unfortunate bounced resulted in Gladiators goals and put the Jackals down by three heading into the third period. Elmira fell behind 2-0 when Pierro-Zabotel deflected a Sean Duddy point shot past Clermont at 8:23. Duddy's initial shot was blocked by Dustin Gazley but went right back to Duddy for the second try. Elmira was given the first power play of the night just over 30 seconds later but, despite a pair of shots, was unable to convert. Tony Lucia pushed Gwinnett's lead to three when an initial shot by Rylan Galiardi missed over the cross bar and the rebound came to an open Lucia at the side of the net. The goal at 16:04 was Lucia's second of the season.
In the third period, Elmira took some time to get its offense on track but after killing a couple of Gwinnett power plays the Jackals began to put the pressure on in the second half of the stanza. The pressure paid off when a long-range shot by Brandon Blandina created a rebound that Jack Downing pounced on for his first goal of the season. The marker came with just under seven minutes left to play and gave the Jackals life. But Lee shut the door from there and Elmira sustained its second loss of the season.
Clermont took the loss while making 25 saves. Elmira was 0-for-1 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.