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Monday, 13 November 2017 12:00

Atlanta Gladiators 2017: Week of November 13

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The Atlanta Gladiators (7-4-0-1, 15 Points) continued their winning ways last week, running their win streak to four games with a win against Norfolk (5-4), and two against South Carolina (3-2, 2-1). Even more impressive is that all were on the road, and all were decided in OT.

 Gwinnett Sports Report publishes a regular Gladiator feature that includes game results and roster activity. The game recaps are provided by Chris Treft, the communications director for the Atlanta Gladiators, while official stats are provided by the ECHL.

Game Results

(Gladiators players in red)

(11-11) vs. South Carolina Stingrays: W (OT), 2-1

The Atlanta Gladiators returned to action for their second matchup in as many nights with the South Carolina Stingrays on Saturday night. The two teams once again needed overtime to declare a winner, where Phil Lane netted the goal to give Atlanta the 2-1 victory. 

After a scoreless opening frame, South Carolina netted the first goal of the contest with 11:11 left in the second period. Steven Whitney corralled the puck in his defensive zone and sent a cross-ice pass to Kelly Zajac on a three-on-two. Zajac then skated the puck into the offensive zone and left a pass behind to the trailer Johnny McInnis, who wristed a shot over the blocker of Gladiators goaltender Dan Vladar to put the Stingrays ahead 1-0.

The Gladiators would then bring the game back even with a power play goal with 5:51 remaining in the middle frame. Taylor Doherty knocked the puck loose in a battle with two South Carolina players on the board for Alex Gacek to pick up. The former Miami (OH) Redhawk then fired a saucer pass across the offensive zone to Derek Nesbitt who was wide open to the right of the Stingrays net. The captain then took two steps before he snapped a shot past Parker Milner to tie the game at 1-1 with his fourth goal of the year.

 With neither team able to break the tie in regulation, Atlanta headed to overtime for the third straight game. 3:20 into the extra frame, Lane tapped in a rebound for his ninth goal of the season to give the Gladiators the 2-1 win. Gacek received his

second assist of the night on the play, while Ben Danford added his name to the scoresheet with the secondary assist on the winning goal.

With the overtime win on road ice, Atlanta picked up their fourth straight victory and improved to 7-4-0-1 on the season. This kept the Gladiators in fourth place in the South Division with 15 points. Meanwhile, South Carolina dropped to 7-1-2-0 on the year with the loss but remained in third in the division with 16 points.

Shots on Goal: Atlanta (24), South Carolina (31)

(11-10) vs. South Carolina: W (OT), 3-2

For the second straight game Atlanta scored late with the extra attacker and went on to win in overtime as they completed the comeback in North Charleston, SC against the Stingrays on Friday night. The Gladiators got a tying goal from Phil Lane and overtime game-winner from Thomas Frazee to earn a come-from-behind victory in South Carolina. 

For the fourth time in their last five games, Atlanta scored the first goal of the game with a tally 3:16 into the contest.  Tanner Pond muscled his way to the front of the net and put a shot on former Gladiator, Jeff Jakaitis that was denied by the 12th-year-pro.  Luke Sandler found the puck laying in the crease and scooped the rebound into the net giving Atlanta the 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season.   

South Carolina responded to tie the score at the 10:13 mark of the first. Nick Johnson found a rebound in front and slid it past Atlanta goalie, Dan Vladar.  Johnson’s fifth of the season was assisted by Patrick Gaul and Joe Devin. 

After a scoreless middle frame, the Stingrays converged on a power play 5:56 into the third period.  Tim McGauley sent a pass from the slot to the left circle to an open Devin.  The Stingrays’ captain blasted a one-timer past Vladar for his fourth goal of the season. 

For the second straight contest the Gladiators were forced to pull the goalie for an extra attacker to try and tie the game late.  Ben Marshall took a pass from Thomas Frazee at the point and propelled a shot towards the goal.  Phil Lane deflected the puck in the low slot that hit off of Jakaitis and rolled down his back and crossed the goal-line with just :28 seconds to go.  With points on the game-tying tally, Frazee and Lane extended their points streaks to nine and eight games, respectively

Chase Witala drew a penalty in overtime that gave the Gladiators a 4-on-3 man advantage.  Marshall slid a pass over to Frazee who wired a one-time shot from the left circle into the goal winning the game for Atlanta.  Derek Nesbitt earned the secondary assist on the game-winning marker that came 2:04 into overtime. 

With their sixth win in their last seven games and fifth straight road victory, Atlanta improved their record to 6-4-0-1 with 13 points.  South Carolina earned a single point in the OT loss and jumped to 15 points in the standings with a record of 7-1-1-0.

Shots on Goal: Atlanta (31), South Carolina (33)

(11-8) vs. Norfolk Admirals, W (OT), 5-4

The Atlanta Gladiators traveled to Virginia on Wednesday night for their first matchup of the year with the Norfolk Admirals. After trailing by three in the third period, the Gladiators mounted a comeback behind Phil Lane and Chase Witala’s four-point nights to win 5-4 in overtime.

The Admirals opened the scoring for the game and took the 1-0 lead with 9:07 remaining in the first period. Brodie Dupont netted his third goal of the season after he regathered his own rebound in front of the net and slipped the puck past Atlanta’s goaltender, Matt Ginn. Both Angelo Miceli and former Glad, Trevor Mingoia were credited with an assist on the play.

Norfolk then doubled their lead on a shorthanded goal with 3:12 left in the opening frame. After the puck bounced over the stick of a defender, Dupont knocked it forward to Grant Besse who then skated in on a breakaway and beat Ginn through the five-hole to make it 2-0 for the Admirals with his fifth goal of the season.

The Gladiators cut the score to 2-1 just 3:00 into the second period with a blast from Taylor Doherty. The puck was rescued in the corner by Thomas Frazee and sent to the middle of the ice where Phil Lane faked a shot and knocked the puck through to Doherty. The Ontario native notched his second goal of the year on the first of the night for the visitors.

Just 1:10 into the third period Norfolk regained their two-goal lead. Darik Angeli netted his first goal with the Admirals after Brady Vail sent a pass to him through his legs, and he slotted a shot over the glove of Ginn. Besse notched his second point of the night with an assist on the play.

Besse then continued his hot night and netted his second goal of the evening just over a minute later. Daniel Johnston and TJ Melancon both added their name to the scoresheet with an assist after the Minnesota native tallied his third point of the game to put Norfolk ahead 4-1.

Atlanta would respond with a power play tally 6:12 into the final regulation period. Lane buried his sixth goal of the year with a tap in on a rebound in front of the net. Ben Marshall and Chase Witala both picked up an assist on the goal that cut the lead to 4-2.

Lane then potted his second in a row to bring the Gladiators back to within one with 7:00 left in the third period. The forward muscled a wrist shot past Murray for his third point of the night. Both Witala and Frazee were credited with their second point of the game on the play.

Alex Gacek found the back of the net with 1:46 remaining in the third to tie the game at 4-4. The second-year-pro was able to slide a shot past Murray’s pad to even the game, and Lane and Witala both added another point on the play.

After the game was tied at 4-4 at the end of regulation, the two teams headed to overtime to declare a winner. Just 1:11 into the extra frame, Witala stole the puck from an Admirals’ defender and broke down the ice by himself. The former Prince George Cougar then lined a shot under the blocker of Murray to give Atlanta the 5-4 victory.

With the comeback win on the road, Atlanta improved to 5-4-0-1 on the season and remained in fourth in the South Division with 11 points. Meanwhile, Norfolk dropped to 3-7-1-0 with the loss and stayed in fifth in the division with seven points.

Shots on Goal: Atlanta (39), Norfolk (30)

Recent Roster Activity:

None

The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth – where parking is always free.

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Read 313 times Last modified on Monday, 13 November 2017 12:10
Mike Delrio

After six seasons covering pro sports as a credentialed writer/photogrpaher in the Atlanta area, Mike began covering Gwinnett County High School sports in 2013 which led to the launch of Gwinnettsportsreport.com. GSR is a site that highlights prep and youth sports in Gwinnett County. While baseball. basketball, and football receive the majority of the attention, GSR will include updates and news on a variety of sports across the county.

GSR coverage of pro teams in the county began in June 2015.  

With many of the top athletes and teams in Georgia calling Gwinnett home, there is a never-ending stream of news and Gwinnettsportsreport.com looks forward to becoming one of your favorite sports blogs for updates on the outstanding athletes in our county.

 

 

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