Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates renew affiliation with Gwinnett

PORTLAND – The Portland Pirates have renewed its affiliation agreement with the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL for the 2014-’15 season.

It will be the fourth season the Pirates, who are also entering its fourth season as the AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes, have been affiliated with the Gladiators.

“We’re excited to extend our affiliation with the Coyotes and to continue our part in the hockey and personal development of NHL and AHL prospects for both Arizona and Portland,” said Gladiators President Steve Chapman. “We’ve had quality conversations this year on several topics, and I’m confident the overall player development process for all three organizations will be significantly improved.”

Last season, the Pirates assigned eight players to Gwinnett including Coyotes’ draft picks Justin Weller, Louis Domingue and Mike Lee.

Domingue, who spent the majority of the season with the Pirates, appeared in seven games with the Gladiators posting a 2.01 GAA with a .939 save percentage. During his rookie season as a professional Domingue played 34 games with Gwinnett, going 23-9-2 with a 2.69 GAA and a .904 save percentage.

Forwards Brenden Walker, Josh Currie, Philippe Halley, and Kevin Veilleux, and goaltender Chris Rawlings have also spent time with the Gladiators.

Walker and Currie finished fifth and sixth in team scoring with 36 and 31 points, respectively, and Walker led the team in goals scored with 22.

“We understand their goals and they understand ours,” said Chapman. “They are a quality organization with quality people and we look forward to working with them again this season.”

The Gladiators are one of 21 teams that compete in the ECHL and play in the South Division of the Eastern Conference. The organization was founded in 1995 as the Mobile Mysticks before relocating to Gwinnett in 2003. The Gladiators, who play at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, have made the playoffs in eight of their 11 seasons in Gwinnett, including a trip to the Kelly Cup Final in 2006.

Gwinnett will open the 2014-15 ECHL season on Saturday, Oct. 18 against the Evansville IceMen.

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