Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 14 Recap

( Photo Credit: Amanda Bingham / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

It’s been a long time since the Atlanta Gladiators had a perfect weekend, but the wait is finally over. A strong performance on the road followed by a record-breaking night at home has lifted Atlanta to 10 wins on the season. With five wins in their last 10 games,  the Glads are starting to close the gap on the rest of the South Division.

Week 14 began with a trip to South Carolina to take on the Stingrays. Sean Bonar started in net for the Glads following strong performances since returning from injury. Atlanta out-shot the Stingrays 12-3 in the first period, but the game remained scoreless heading into the first intermission. Three minutes into the second period, Matt Pohlkamp put the home side ahead with a power play goal. The Gladiators responded positively, and Derek Nesbitt tied the game with an even strength goal, assisted by Nick Bligh. Atlanta continued to out-shoot their opponent and took the lead minutes later, with score from Justin MacDonald, assisted by Brett McKenzie and Nolan LaPorte. The teams headed into the locker rooms with the Gladiators leading 2-1.

The home side were much improved in the third period, and leveled the game with an equal strength goal by Tim Harrison, taking the game to overtime. The Gladiators had secured a point, but they weren’t finished. They were denied five times before forward Nick Bligh broke away for the game-winning goal. The Glads out-shot the ‘Rays 6-1 in overtime and fully deserved their 3-2 win.

The Glads returned home to take on the Jacksonville Icemen in front of a record crowd on Saturday night, thanks to the annual teddy bear toss. It took less than two minutes for Nick Bligh to open the scoring for Atlanta, sending thousands of bears flying onto the ice. He was assisted by Joseph Widmar and Derek Nesbitt. Moments later, the Glads doubled their lead with a short-handed goal, Bligh’s second of the night, assisted by LaPorte and Chatham. Cody Fowlie pulled one back for Jacksonville, before Bligh completed his hat-trick with a power play goal in the 15th minute, assisted by Messner and Nesbitt.

It was Derek Nesbitt’s 358th game for the Gladiators, a franchise record. The veteran forward celebrated in style, notching Atlanta’s fourth score of the night, assisted by Chatham and Widmar. Bligh continued to torment the Icemen and scored his fourth goal of the period, assisted by Widmar. The Glads led 5-1 after an incredible 20 minutes of hockey.

Jacksonville began the second period with a power play goal from Cam Maclise. The frantic game calmed down for a while, before Derek Nesbitt grabbed his second of the night, assisted by Luke Stork, restoring the Glads four-goal lead before the second intermission. There wasn’t much action in the final frame, Jacob Cederholm scored for the Icemen, but the game was all but over. Sean Bonar finished with 38 saves from 41 shots, 6-3 the final score.

It was a memorable night for the Gladiators organization. The crowd of 9,971 was the biggest of the season and the team collected a record of 6,072 teddy bears for children in need. There’s a lot of positives for coach Pyle and his team moving forward. Next week they take on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in back to back road games, let’s hope this run continues.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—

–> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info <–

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 14 Preview

( Photo Credit: postandcourier.com / Stingrays Photo )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators started off 2019 slightly better than expected, with a win over bitter South Division rivals, the Florida Everblades. The Glads started the new year with a three-game road trip to the sunshine state and very little hope. Despite picking up a win, the Gladiators remain at the bottom of the South Division by a startling 11 points. There’s a mountain to climb, but Coach Pyle’s men are undoubtedly up to the task. They play two games this week against the South Carolina Stingrays and the Jacksonville Icemen.

Earlier in the week, the Gladiators released defenseman Don Olivieri, who was picked up on waivers by the Norfolk Admirals. The third-year-pro tallied seven points (2g, 5a) in 14 games for the Glads and his release came as a surprise to many fans. He’s already bagged a goal and an assist on his return to Norfolk. The departure created space for Atlanta to pick up defenseman Brandon McMartin, who joins the Gladiators from the Knoxville Ice Bears of the SPHL. He’s featured in 20 games so far this season, scoring six points (2g, 4a).

On Friday night, the Gladiators travel to South Carolina to take on the Stingrays at the North Charleston Coliseum. It will be the seventh time the two teams have faced off this season, the Glads have lost all six encounters so far. The Stingrays have won six of their last 10 ECHL games and will be heavy favorites heading into the contest. Atlanta is used to being the underdog by now and is beginning to thrive in that role. Interestingly, the Glads have picked up points in two of the last three games against the Stingrays, they’re certainly capable of an upset and I wouldn’t count them out of this one.

The Gladiators play at home for the first time in 2019 on Saturday night. They take on the Jacksonville Icemen for the fifth time this season. Jacksonville leads the head-to-head contest 3-1, but fans will remember the Glads 4-0 demolition against the Icemen which ended their 10-game losing streak. If Atlanta can play anything like they did that night, then they can certainly come away with a win. One thing that this game promises is goals.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Nolan LaPorte: Three points in three tough games against the Florida Everblades last week confirms LaPorte’s inclusion on the list this week. His offensive production was incredible against the leagues best last week. Did I mention he scored a hat-trick the last time he played the Stingrays?

Sean Bonar: He made a total of 53 saves last week and was one of the main reasons the Glads managed to beat the Florida Everblades. He’s held down the starting role since returning from injury and has made so many incredible saves this season. I’m already looking forward to watching his highlight reel in February.

Brett McKenzie: One of the most consistent players on the roster, McKenzie has six points in his last seven games. He’s been very productive for the Gladiators this season, if he can stay healthy is going to be one of their most reliable weapons moving forward. This week, he was named as an alternate for the ECHL All-Star Classic, the only Gladiator to make the roster.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—

–> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info <–

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 13 Recap

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( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators kicked off 2019 with an unlikely win in a difficult three-game road trip against the Florida Everblades. It was a true team performance to seal the win against the league leaders, with everyone stepping up and playing their part. The results leave the Gladiators last in the South Division, but the win gives them a foundation to build on for the second half of the season.

On Wednesday night, the Gladiators went toe-to-toe with the Florida Everblades for the first of three games in the sunshine state. Sean Bonar, who ended 2018 in great form, was given the start between the pipes for the Glads. Atlanta started bravely and looked confident against the Everblades, managing to avoid any mistakes. Florida also defended well, and the first period ended with no score. The Everblades eventually broke through, with second-period goals from Patrick McCarron and Justin Auger.

The Gladiators fought on, and Nolan LaPorte cut Florida’s lead in half with a power-play goal early in the third. He was assisted by Oliver Galipeau and Brett McKenzie. The Glads pushed for a game-tying score but were unable to find one before Kyle Platzer bagged Florida’s third of the night. Atlanta pulled Bonar off the ice with one last roll of the dice, but Nathan Perkovich poked in an empty-netter to seal the game for the Everblades. 4-1 the final score.

The teams faced off again on Friday night for game two of the series. Coach Pyle kept his faith in Sean Bonar, who assumed his position in the crease. Atlanta once again came into the game fearlessly and looked like the better team in the opening period, they had chances to take the lead, but the game remained scoreless by the end of the first period. The Everblades came flying into the second frame, dominating the early exchanges and taking the lead through Blake Winiecki.

The Gladiators were awarded a power play and took full advantage, Nolan LaPorte the scorer, assisted by Joel Messner and Dave Mazurek. New signing Luke Stork then stepped up with his first professional goal to put Atlanta ahead, he was assisted by Vytal Cote. The Everblades threw everything at the Glads in the third period, but they couldn’t beat Sean Bonar and the resolute defense in front of him. The Gladiators held on for a fully deserved 2-1 win.

It was a Saturday night showdown for the third and final game of the week between the Glads and the Everblades. New signing, Michael Bitzer, was given the start in net for Atlanta, in what proved to be a baptism of fire for the young goaltender. There was a lot of chatter between both teams before Zach Malatesta dropped the gloves with Florida’s Tommy Thompson, just two minutes into the game. Moments later, the Everblades had the lead with a goal from Ben Masella, ending the first period 1-0. The penalties kept coming for both teams, and 36 seconds into the second frame, the Glads pounced on a power play opportunity and Brett McKenzie tied the game, assisted by Olivier Galipeau and Justin MacDonald.

The rest of the second period was dominated by the Everblades, who scored four goals before the next intermission. Joe Cox, Logan Roe, Blake Winiecki, and Josh Wesley all tallied to give Florida a huge 5-1 lead heading into the third. Olivier Galipeau bagged himself a power-play goal for the Gladiators, assisted by Zach Malatesta and Nolan LaPorte. The effort was in vain, as Michael Neville and Justin Auger put the game well beyond Atlanta’s reach with two more, 7-2 the final score.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—

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Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 13 Preview

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

After 30 games, it’s no secret that the season hasn’t gone to plan for the Atlanta Gladiators, who currently sit at the bottom of the South Division. Head coach and GM, Jeff Pyle, has been very busy with roster changes over the new year period as he looks to improve the team’s results in 2019. Atlanta begins the year with a trip to the sunshine state, for three road games against the Florida Everblades, the second-best team in the league. Road trips don’t come much tougher than that.

The Gladiators roster will look very different by the time they take to the ice against Florida. The team has acquired rookie forward Luke Stork from the Wichita Thunder. Boston Bruins prospect, Jesse Gabrielle, was reassigned by the NHL Bruins organization to Wichita shortly after the Stork deal per information gathered from BNG writer Mark Allred in a related article that can be SEEN HERE. On new years eve, the Gladiators announced the signing of forward Joe Widmar, and traded away Bo Brauer and Sean Campbell to Worcester and Reading respectively. Goaltender Colton Phinney was removed from the active roster after deciding to step away from hockey, he has been replaced by Michael Bitzer, who joins from Rapid City. Defenseman Olivier Galipeau also returns to Atlanta on loan from the Providence Bruins.

The Gladiators head to Florida with last weeks defeat against their hosts fresh in their memory. The brutal 5-2 loss showcased the Everblades ruthlessness, they took the lead just 22 seconds into the game and never looked back. Florida does a great job of controlling the opposition and keeps the puck in the attacking zone for long periods, they are a very good team. They’ve won eight of their last 10 games and will be very confident heading into the mini-series. The Glads have lost all three games against the Everblades so far this season, which were all in Atlanta. Perhaps a change of scenery might help, or perhaps I’m just clutching at straws. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, miracles do happen.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Justin MacDonald: Seven points in his last five games including a hat-trick against the Norfolk Admirals last week, there’s no way MacDonald was going to miss the list this week. He is such an important part of the Glads offense, they will need him at his best if they are to have any success this week in Florida. He grabbed an assist in the last game against the Everblades and will be desperate to add to that.

Olivier Galipeau: After a short stint with the Providence Bruins, Olivier Galipeau is back in Atlanta. He played three games for the Glads just before Christmas, adding an assist to his tally and is currently tied for the team-lead for points by defensemen. He was handy on the power play earlier in the season for Atlanta, so his return will certainly boost the team.

Derek Nesbitt: The forward finds himself on this list again, but I simply couldn’t leave him out. The veteran has at least one point in each of his last seven games for Atlanta and remains the team’s top point scorer this season. Last week he notched his 300th point for the Gladiators. The younger players will look to him for guidance in the next few games, there aren’t many better leaders in the ECHL.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—

–> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info <–

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 12 Preview

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

After taking a short break for Christmas, the Atlanta Gladiators are back in action this week with three more games before the end of the year. They will take on the Florida Everblades before two back-to-back games against the Norfolk Admirals. The Gladiators will be looking to build on their dominant 4-0 win over the Jacksonville Icemen last week, which ended their 10 game slide. With their record standing at 6-15-5-1, the Glads will be hoping for positive results for them to build on in the new year.

Last week, the Gladiators benefited from the return of Olivier Galipeau. The defenseman contributed an assist and a +3 rating on his return to Atlanta. After a short stint with the team, he was recalled to the Providence Bruins. After a long-awaited home debut, former NHL forward, Jared Ross, was released from the active roster according to echl.com. It’s unclear whether he will feature again for Atlanta, as he had been released from and then re-added to the Glads roster before last weeks games.

On Thursday night, the Florida Everblades will visit the Infinite Energy Arena to challenge the Gladiators. After a steady start to the season, the Blades have found their groove and currently top the South Division, after winning eight of their last 10 games. Atlanta has struggled against the Everblades since the playoff series last year, where they were beaten in four straight contests. The two teams have played twice already this season, with Florida winning both games, 6-3 and 8-3 respectively. One thing is for sure, Atlanta will have to be better defensively when the puck drops. Playing at home will help the Glads, but this will be a difficult game. That being said, miracles do happen.

After the Florida game, the Gladiators will finish 2018 with two home contests against the Norfolk Admirals, on Saturday and Sunday. The Admirals have been struggling lately, like Atlanta, they only have one win in their last 10 games. Glads fans will be pleased to learn that surprisingly, Atlanta has actually earned more points in their last 10 games than the Admirals. In the five games between the two teams this season, Norfolk edge the series 3-2, but the Gladiators have a good chance of turning that round on home ice. They proved that they are capable with the win against Jacksonville, and good results against the Admirals would be a great platform to start the new year. I think these two games will be close, but home advantage should give the Gladiators the edge.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Derek Nesbitt: I’ve lost count of how many times Nesbitt has made this list already, but the veteran forward has been on fire recently. With five points (2g, 3a) in his last four games, the Canadian has established himself as the team’s top scorer. Always leading by example, you simply cannot count him out.

Nick Bligh: After joining the team recently, the third-year-pro didn’t take long to contribute. He has four points (2g, 2a) in his last four games and will want to maintain his point per game output for as long as he can. The Gladiators offense was in need of a spark before he arrived, now he’s thriving in Atlanta.

Jesse Gabrielle: After a four-game point drought, the Boston Bruins prospect grabbed two goals against the Icemen last week. The controversial forward did a great job of getting under the skin of the Jacksonville players and had the last laugh with his empty-netter in the 4-0 win. He reminded me somewhat of Brad Marchand with the way he frustrated the opposition, he will be worth watching this week.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—

–> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info <–

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 11 Recap

( Photo Credit: gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators head into the Christmas break full of confidence after snapping their ten-game losing streak. The players really gave the fans something to cheer about with strong performances in back to back home games this week. With 27 games into the 2018-19 campaign, the Glads record is 6-15-5-1 and sit second to last in the ECHL with 18 points. The season hasn’t gone according to plan, but with key players back in the fold, the Gladiators have a foundation to build on in the new year.

The first of three back to back home games began on Wednesday night when the Greenville Swamp Rabbits came to town. Colton Phinney was given the start in goal to begin the homestand for Atlanta. The Glads were pressured early on, but they successfully killed two penalties before Brett McKenzie fired them into the lead with a power-play goal. Atlanta held the lead until four minutes into the second period, when Tomas Ebbing leveled for Greenville.

Both teams exchanged shots but there were no more goals in the frame. After the second interval, Nick Bligh put Atlanta ahead just 33 seconds after the puck dropped, assisted by Olivier Galipeau. The Gladiators were unable to add to their tally before two quick goals from John May and Will Merchant put Greenville up 3-2. Despite dominating the closing minutes, Atlanta was unable to tie the game and the Swamp Rabbits took the two points.

Thursday night the Glads faced the Jacksonville Icemen for the first of two games between the sides. Sean Bonar was given the start in net and Glads set about ending their 10 game slide. The Atlanta power play looked better with Olivier Galipeau back in the team, but they were unable to beat Jacksonville’s penalty kill. The Glads finally got the break-through in the second period, when Derek Nesbitt slotted home, assisted by NHL veteran Jared Ross.

Jack Stander doubled the Gladiators lead with his first professional goal before Zach Malatesta completed the second-period demolition with Atlanta’s third goal of the night. Jacksonville threw everything they had at the Glads in the final period. They pulled goalie Mikhail Berdin to get an extra skater on the ice, which allowed Jesse Gabrielle to put Atlanta ahead 4-0, ending the game in style. It was a complete performance from the Gladiators. Not only was it the teams first win in nearly a month, but they recorded a shutout in the process.

The stage was set for the Friday night rematch with Jacksonville and what a great game it was. Atlanta kept their faith in Sean Bonar who took his spot in the crease. The Icemen controlled the early exchanges but the Gladiators took the lead through Justin MacDonald. Atlanta looked more comfortable after the goal but the Icemen kept up the pressure, Kris Newbury managed to find the net just 10 seconds before the end of the first period, 1-1 the score at the break. The second period was barely under-way before Jacksonville snagged the lead through Garrett Ladd. Coach Pyle ensured the Glads kept their heads up.

Minutes later Atlanta was awarded a power play, Jesse Gabrielle took full advantage and tied the game with his second goal of the week. 15 seconds later Nick Bligh gave Atlanta the lead, capping off a wild three minutes. For the second night in a row, the Icemen through everything at the Glads, eventually tying the game with another goal from Kris Newbury. Atlanta responded well, forcing saves from Tanner Jaillet before Maxime Fortier scored what would be the winning goal for Jacksonville. The played well throughout the third period but couldn’t find another goal, the game finished 4-3 to Jacksonville.

The Gladiators can enjoy some time off to rest and reflect before they’re back in action next week to finish 2018. The win will give them a huge confidence boost, they’ve been playing well for some time and they’ve proved that they’re capable of competing in the South Division. The playoffs hopes are all but gone, but the team finally has a foundation to build on for the rest of the season. All that remains is for me to wish you a very merry Christmas Glads fans, enjoy yourselves.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—

–> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info <–

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 11 Preview

( Photo Credit: Facebook.com/atlantagladiators )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

Christmas is less than a week away, and the Atlanta Gladiators have three games to play before a short break for the holiday. After 24 games, the Glads record is 5-13-5-1, no-where near their preseason aspirations of a playoff challenge. This week they have three chances to close the gap on their South Division rivals.

The Gladiators have struggled recently, missing a number of players through injury and call-ups to the AHL. The return of forward Justin MacDonald will be a boost to the team. He missed a few weeks through injury but was added to the active roster just before the last game against The Orlando Solar Bears. He had seven points (2g, 5a) in four games before being helped off the ice, hopefully, he can rediscover that level of production and help the Glads get back to winning ways.

The Providence Bruins have loaned defenseman Olivier Galipeau back to Atlanta. This will improve the power play significantly, all three of his Glads goals earlier in the season were scored with opponents in the box. The Gladiators have also acquired rookie forward Bo Brauer in a trade for future considerations with the South Carolina Stingrays. In other news, forward Nolan LaPorte and defenseman Kevin Montgomery have been added to reserve, and power forward Tyler Howe has been released. The big man featured in 14 games for Atlanta this season, scoring no points but earning 19 penalty minutes.

This week, the Gladiators will play three times in as many days on home ice at the Infinite Energy Arena. On Wednesday night the Greenville Swamp Rabbits are in town. Atlanta’s last win was against them back in November, almost a month ago. They will be desperate to end the nine-game losing streak with another win over their South Division rivals. The two teams have met five times already this season, sharing 26 goals between them, one thing’s certain, the goalies will be kept very busy. On Thursday and Friday, the Jacksonville Icemen are in town for a double-header. Atlanta managed to take them into overtime last week, securing a hard-earned point in the process. The Glads will be hoping to improve on that result with a win or two this week.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Colton Phinney: With Miroslav Svoboda out due to injury, Phinney has a good chance of featuring for the Glads this week. He’s looked solid in his six games so far for the team. He was named ECHL goaltender of the week just before he was traded to Atlanta, so the talent is definitely there. He’ll be determined to shut out his former team, the Jacksonville Icemen.

Dave Mazurek: It took a little while to settle into his new surroundings, but Mazurek has been impressive recently. Three points in his last four games and a +2 rating make him one of the most in-form forwards on the Glads current roster. He will look to build on that platform in the coming games, keep an eye on him.

Derek Nesbitt: I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve mentioned Nesbitt as a key player, but his numbers prove he’s one of the best. He’s the Glads joint top-scorer this season with 16 points (6g, 10a) and kept Atlanta’s hopes alive with a goal last week against Orlando. You can never count him out.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—

–> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info <–

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 10 Recap

( Photo Credit: orlandosentinel.com / Fernando Medina )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

It was another difficult week for the injury-ravaged Atlanta Gladiators, after three more defeats, their winless run has extended to nine games. Despite missing a number of important players, the Glads fought bravely and were able to pick up 2 points from the road trip, coming agonizingly close to a win. After 24 games played, their record stands at 5-13-5-1, and they remain at the bottom of the South Division.

On Wednesday night, the Gladiators traveled to South Carolina to take on the Stingrays. It was the third game between the two teams in just five days. Sean Bonar was given the start between the pipes for Atlanta and looked confident in the early stages. The game remained scoreless until Cameron Askew put the Stingrays ahead mid-way through the second period. Andrew Cherniwchan doubled South Carolina’s lead just 12 seconds into the third frame and the Gladiators were staring down the familiar barrel of defeat. That was until Tyler Deresky wrestled Atlanta level with two fantastic goals, taking the game into overtime and securing a much-needed point for the Gladiators. Both teams were unable to add to the score, sending the game to a shootout. After a valiant display, the Glads fell 2-1 in the shootout. The team fought hard with many skaters playing out of position to cover injuries.

The Gladiators faced the Jacksonville Icemen on Friday night for the second game of the road trip. Colton Phinney was given the start in goal and was tested early on. He was eventually beaten when Kris Newbury put the Icemen ahead with a power-play goal. The first period ended 1-0 to Jacksonville. At the start of the second, Glads forward David Mazurek pounced on a mistake from Icemen netminder, Tanner Jaillet, and tied the score at 1-1. The rest of the contest was uneventful for the most part, and for the second game in a row, overtime was required to decide the winner. Kris Newbury stepped up and doubled his tally for the night, condemning the Glads to their eighth consecutive defeat. Once again, a fine effort to secure a point considering the injury situation.

The third and final game of the week took place on Sunday afternoon at the Amway Center, as the Glads took on the Orlando Solar Bears. It was the long-awaited return of forward Justin MacDonald who was in good form before getting injured a few weeks back. Sean Bonar was given the start as both teams exchanged shots in the early stages. The Solar Bears capitalized on an ugly turnover from Atlanta, creating a two-on-one opportunity which was tucked into the net by Mitch Hults. The Glads enjoyed a nice spell of offense in the second period but they couldn’t beat Martin Ouellette in the Orlando goal. In the final minute of the second, Dylan Fritze put the Solar Bears 2-0 up and the game was as good as over. Derek Nesbitt scored in the third period to keep Atlanta’s hopes alive, but Orlando was able to hold on for the win. 2-1 the final score.

The Gladiators fought hard this week but it’s no secret that the team is suffering from injuries and AHL call-ups. The defense seems to have stepped up and it’s encouraging to see Bonar and Phinney playing well in the absence of Miroslav Svoboda. The Glads have three games in three days coming up before the Christmas break, a win will be on all of our lists for Santa, I’m certainly hoping for a Christmas miracle.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—

–> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info <–

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 10 Preview

( Photo Credit: gwinnettdailypost.com / Taylor Trebotte )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

Winless in their last six games, the Atlanta Gladiators head into what could arguably be the toughest week of their season so far. Three back-to-back road games against strong divisional rivals is never easy, especially when you’re bottom of the division by nine points. The Glads have managed just five wins in 21 games so far, with an underwhelming record of 5-12-4. At this stage of the season, they’re playing for pride.

Last weekend the team were buoyed by the return of forward Tanner Pond, who had spent the start of the season in the AHL with the Providence Bruins. He contributed right away, scoring twice in his first game back and adding five assists in the three games he spent with his old team. He barely had time to unpack before he was recalled to Providence, a big blow to Atlanta. The team confirmed on Tuesday that defenseman Ben Danford had been placed on Injury Reserve, it’s unclear how long he will be out for. The Glads also lost forward Matt Lane who was recalled to Milwaukee. On a more positive note, the team acquired forward Nick Bligh in exchange for future considerations. The Boston, MA native has accumulated nine points in 19 games with the Worcester Railers so far this season, though he only managed one point (an assist) in his last six games with them. In other news, forward Branden Troock was placed on reserve and defenseman Vytal Cote was added to the active roster.

The first of three games on the road takes place on Wednesday night, the Gladiators will travel to the North Charleston Coliseum to take on the South Carolina Stingrays. It will be the third game in a row between the two teams. Atlanta came agonizingly close in the first two contests of this mini-series, hopefully they can wrap it up with a win. On Friday night the Glads head to Jacksonville to take on the Icemen. Atlanta have only played one game against the Icemen so far this season, a 3-2 defeat in overtime. The boys will close out the road trip with a visit to the Orlando Solar Bears, desperate to avenge the most recent 5-4 loss against them. Although the offense is putting up good numbers, the Gladiators need to tighten up defensively in order to start winning games. Coach Pyle admitted that the team needed to defend better after last weeks loss to the Solar Bears before adding “I don’t think we’ve ever quit, that’s the upside of the team.” One thing is for sure, the Gladiators wont go down without a fight.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Brett McKenzie: Four points in his last three games, the center is in solid form. With the departures of Matt Lane and Tanner Pond, he will have an increased responsibility in the coming weeks so he will need to maintain his offensive production. While he has big boots to fill, the potential is there for him to step up for the team.

Zach Malatesta: The hard-hitting defenseman continued to add to his points tally last weekend with three assists against the Stingrays. He’s been a lot more aggressive moving the puck into the offensive zone and it’s paid off. With Danford on Injury Reserve, the Gladiators will need him to step up on the power play. He’s shown his capability of setting up the forwards, he will be an important player this week.

Nolan LaPorte: What else needs to be said after a stunning hat-trick put the team in prime position for a win against South Carolina? The third-year forward seems to be finding momentum now, with 13 points in 14 games. After a quiet spell he was on fire last weekend. If he can carry that form into next week then he’s certain to add to that tally.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the link below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 9 Recap

( Photo Credit: gwinnettdailypost.com / Taylor Trebotte )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

Defensive woes returned for the Atlanta Gladiators this weekend, three consecutive defeats leave the team in dire straights. The Glads are now winless in their last six games, the gap at the bottom of the South Division has stretched to nine points. At 5-12-4 on the season, the numbers suggest that the team has given up, but that is not the case. Though the results have been poor, coach Pyle’s men are working extremely hard, they came agonizingly close to a win this weekend.

The weekend began with the Glads taking on the Orlando Solar Bears at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday night. Showing off their new black uniforms, the Gladiators were desperate for a win. Orlando took an early lead through Troy Bourke before Tanner Pond announced his return to Atlanta with his first goal of the season in the middle of the first period. Both teams continued to exchange shots but were tied at the first intermission. Derek Nesbitt put the Glads ahead four minutes into the second frame, before a flurry of goals from Mathieu Foget, Brady Shaw and Troy Bourke, his second of the night, gave the Solar Bears a comfortable lead. Tanner Pond doubled his goal tally moments before the end of the second period, 4-3 the score at the break. Cody Donaghey restored Orlando’s two-goal advantage in the third period. Forward Brett McKenzie managed to pull one back for Atlanta, but it wasn’t enough, the Solar Bears winning the contest 5-4.

On Saturday night the Gladiators traveled to the North Charleston Coliseum to take on the South Carolina Stingrays. Colton Phinney was given the start between the pipes and did well to keep the puck out of his net for the first period, 0-0 the score at the end of the first. Branden Troock and Jake Flegal gave Atlanta a rare two-goal lead early in the second period, and the Glads looked comfortable for the first time in a long time. Matt Pohlkamp scored a crucial goal for the Stingrays moments before the second intermission to keep his team in the game. Just five minutes into the final period of regulation, Branden Troock scored his second of the night, putting the Glads up 3-1. The lead didn’t last long, two quick goals from Cameron Askew tied the game 3-3, and the contest went into overtime. Tad Kozun scored the winner to complete a remarkable comeback for the Stingrays, a tough result for Atlanta but a crucial point earned for their efforts.

After a close game on Saturday, the stage was set perfectly for a rematch. On Sunday the Stingrays traveled to Duluth for Atlanta’s third and final game of the weekend. Nolan LaPorte put the Glads ahead inside the first minute, much to the delight of the home crowd. Tad Kozun leveled the score before Jonathan Charbonneau edged the Stingrays into the lead. Shane Eiserman continued his good form against the Gladiators, his goal extending the lead to 3-1. Brett McKenzie and David Mazurek both scored for Atlanta to leave the game evenly poised at 3-3 heading into the final period. Mike Chen restored South Carolina’s lead before LaPorte bagged his second goal of the night, tying the game at 4-4. Tad Kozun scored again to put the Stingrays ahead before LaPorte completed his hat-trick for Atlanta. Incredibly the score was 5-5 with less than five minutes left on the clock. With both teams desperate to steal the win, Cameron Askew bagged one more goal for the Stingrays, ending a fantastic game of hockey 6-5, another defeat for Atlanta.

On Monday, the Gladiators announced that forward Tanner Pond had been recalled to the Providence Bruins. He made an instant impact during his short spell back with the team, and he will be missed. Despite his departure, there are encouraging signs for the Atlanta Gladiators. Though the defense had a tough weekend, the offense is firing on all cylinders. As the old saying goes, you can’t win if you can’t score. The Gladiators will need the likes of LaPorte, Troock, Nesbitt, and McKenzie in good scoring form to get back to winning ways. Their contributions will dictate the results moving forward. There’s plenty of hockey still to play.

Interested in going to an Atlanta Gladiators game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the link below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

—>Atlanta Gladiators 2018-19 Schedule & Ticket Info<—