BILOXI, Miss. – Mississippi’s Jay Legault (pictured) scored 3:22 into overtime lifting the Sea Wolves to a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators in Game 2 of the best-of-five American Conference Quarterfinals, tying the series one game apiece, in front of 2,113 fans at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Mississippi coach Bob Woods said. “Legault’s goal gives us new life. Now it becomes the best-of-three series with all of the remaining games at Gwinnett. It’s going to be very interesting.”
Gwinnett (1-1) opened the score on the power-play at 2:56 of the first period. Rick Emmett let go with a slapshot from the slot through traffic and past goaltender Phil Sauve. Assists went to Brad Schell and Cam Brown.
After ringing a shot off the crossbar and goalpost partway through the first, Mississippi (1-1) got back on even terms with a power-play goal. Anthony Battaglia sent a shot from the high slot in front of the net, which was tipped by Nick Greenough and by netminder Sean Fields to make it 1-1 at the 14:25 mark. Jeff Hutchins also picked up a helper.
In the second, the Gladiators regained their lead on another power-play. Chris Durno scooped up a loose puck in close and buried to give Gwinnett a 2-1 advantage through 40 minutes. Emmett and Joe Bourne garnered assists.
Just 33 seconds into the third, the Sea Wolves scored the equalizer with their second power-play goal of the game. Kerry Ellis-Toddington at the side converted on a pass from Legault. An assist also went to Louis Dumont.
In overtime, Legault’s backhand shot from the right circle bulged the twine over the shoulder of Fields for the game-winner.
Mississippi converted on 2-of-10 power play opportunities, while Gwinnett was successful on 2-of-7 chances with the man advantage. Gladiators outshot the Sea Wolves 37-30.
The series shifts back to Duluth, Georgia for Game 3 Saturday at 6:35 pm. CT at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.