Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 9 Preview

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

December is upon us, and as 2018 draws to a close, everyone is asking where the year went? The ECHL season is flying by in similar fashion, and the Atlanta Gladiators head into week nine with some good news, and some bad news. The bad news? After 18 games, they sit at the bottom of the south division by eight points and 27th, last place, in the ECHL league standings. The Gladiators have managed just 5 wins this season, their record is 5-10-3. The good news? Well it can’t get any worse, can it?

On a more positive note, earlier in the week, the Gladiators announced the return of forward Tanner Pond, who’s spent the season so far with the Providence Bruins making eight appearances. Last season he contributed 37 points (14 goals and 23 assists) in 61 games for the Gladiators. The second-year-pro isn’t afraid to drop the gloves, he accrued 163 penalty minutes in his rookie season and also fought for the Boston Bruins during their preseason game against the Washington Capitals. He was added straight onto the active roster and is eligible to play for Atlanta this weekend. Unfortunately forward Alex Overhardt was recalled by the Milwaukee Admirals. With nine points in his first 17 games as a pro, his departure will be felt by the Gladiators. In other roster news, Bruins prospect Jesse Gabrielle was placed on reserve last week and at the time of writing, hasn’t been added back to the active roster. As things stand, he will not be playing this weekend.

It will be a busy weekend for the Gladiators who are set to play three games in as many days. On Friday night they’ll face the Orlando Solar Bears at home before traveling to the North Charleston Coliseum to take on the South Carolina Stingrays. The Glads will wrap up the weekend against the Stingrays back at home on Sunday night. Three games against divisional opponents give the team a real chance to close the gap on their closest rivals. Halloween is a distant memory for most, but the Gladiators nightmares carried into November. The players and fans alike will be hoping for better results this month, giving the team a platform to build on in the new year.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Miroslav Svoboda: The Czech netminder is finding himself on this list quite a lot this season. He’s made some incredible saves and really kept the Glads in the contest last Sunday with 35 saves from 36 shots. When he’s in the zone he’s incredibly hard to score against, he will play an important part in the Gladiators revival.

Tanner Pond: His return to Atlanta has been a hit with the fans, and there’s a huge sense of optimism about what the second-year-pro can bring to the ice. A stint in the AHL will have been a great experience for the 26-year-old. He joins his old team when they’re in need of an offensive boost, and packs a punch in more ways than one.

Derek Nesbitt: In difficult times, coaches often turn to experience to help the team back to winning ways. Time and time again Nesbitt has been there for the Gladiators. He has a knack for scoring when the team needs it most, always dependable, he will be key to the Glads revival. He got a goal against Greenville last week and will be hungry to add to that in the next three games.

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 8 Recap

( Photo Credit: Amanda Bingham / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

Another week over in the ECHL and yet another week of frustration for the Gladiators. One point earned from a possible four in two games against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits leaves the team bottom of the south division and 26th out of 27 teams in the league standings. After 18 games, the Gladiators are 5-10-3, with their hopes of making the playoffs all but gone. The results haven’t gone Atlanta’s way, despite some improved performances recently, wins seem so elusive for the Duluth based team.

On Friday night the Gladiators took on the Swamp Rabbits at the Infinite Energy Arena, desperate to add to their win tally. Miroslav Svoboda was given the start in net, coach Pyle showing faith after some incredible saves in recent weeks. The Gladiators capitalized on an early power play with Alex Overhardt scoring the games first goal, assisted by Zach Malatesta and Brett McKenzie. It didn’t take long for Greenville to tie the game. Five minutes after taking the lead, the Glads allowed Jon Jutzi to get the Swamp Rabbits level. The second period began with Greenville comfortably in control, and they took the lead through Brendan Harms. Towards the end of the second frame, the Gladiators found some momentum and managed to assert some pressure on the Swamp Rabbits.

Veteran forward, Derek Nesbitt, leveled the game early in the third period, making an important contribution as he often does for the Gladiators. Both teams continued to push for a game-winning goal but to no avail. The score remained tied 2-2 after 60 minutes. This was a crucial point for the Gladiators, but the job wasn’t finished. They still had to endure overtime. The spirited comeback wasn’t enough as Michael Pelech scored the winner for Greenville, a disappointing end to the game for the Gladiators who fought bravely.

After falling just short in the first game of the weekend, the Gladiators shifted their attention to the Saturday night rematch against Greenville, this time on the road. Svoboda was given the start again, and the Glads set about securing the win. Both teams exchanged plenty of shots, but the game remained scoreless through the first two periods. Four minutes into the third, Michael Pelech continued to haunt Atlanta with his second goal of the weekend, putting the Swamp Rabbits in front. Desperate to get something from the game, the Gladiators threw everything at Greenville, but they couldn’t beat netminder, Chris Nell, who held on for the shutout. With one last roll of the dice, Svoboda headed to the Atlanta bench to create a man advantage for the Glads, but it was in vain as Stephen Pierog scored an empty-netter to wrap the game up for the Swamp Rabbits. 2-0 the final score. Svoboda had an outstanding game in net for the Glads, finishing with 35 saves from 36 shots.

After the weekend games against Greenville, the gap is growing in the south division with Atlanta now trailing by six points. At this stage, it will be difficult just to get out of last place, let alone challenge for a playoff spot. It’s hard to find positives as things stand, and failing to score on Saturday doesn’t bode well for Atlanta. The Gladiators need to go back to basics, they have one of the most efficient power play units in the league and must start taking advantage of it. While the lack of goals this weekend is a problem, the defense has improved in recent games. There is still potential for this Gladiators team to succeed, though the clock is ticking.

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 8 Preview

( Photo Credit: Amanda Bingham / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

Thanks to the holiday schedule it’s been a week since the Atlanta Gladiators’ last competitive game. The break could not have come at a better time for the Glads, who sit in last place in the south division with an underwhelming 5-9-2 record. Currently 25th in the ECHL league standings, the boys have a lot of work ahead of them if they wish to achieve the playoff aspirations they expressed in the preseason. The Glads have a great chance to build some momentum following the Thanksgiving break as they take on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits twice this week.

A big blow for the Gladiators will be the departure of forward Garret Ross, who was called up by the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. Ross had been in great form for the Glads recently and certainly deserves the promotion, Atlanta’s loss is Milwaukee’s gain. The Admirals also briefly recalled forward Alex Overhardt, though he is back with the Gladiators and eligible to play in this weekend. On a more positive note, the Glads have signed forward David Mazurek who’s been added to the current roster in time for this weekends action. The 26-year-old joins from the Fayetteville Marksmen of the SPHL and has 15 points in 13 games so far this season. He joins the team in good form. Hopefully, he can maintain that as he starts his ECHL career.

The first game against Greenville will be on Friday night at the Infinite Energy Arena with the rematch taking place at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Saturday night. The two sides have played each other three times so far this season, with the Gladiators leading the head-to-head series 2-1. The two teams last played the night before Thanksgiving. After entering the game in terrible form, Atlanta dominated the first two periods through the Swamp Rabbits took their chances and punished every mistake, keeping the game close. The Gladiators managed to hold on for a tense overtime win, their first win in five games. Coach Pyle’s men will be under less pressure this week after their recent win. If they can play with more confidence and luck is on their side, I think they’re capable of 3, possibly even 4 points this weekend which would be a massive boost to the team. Greenville sit three points above the Gladiators in the south division, but they’ve played five more games. There’s no question that the Gladiators are better than their position in the standings suggests, but they’re running out of time to prove it.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Branden Troock: Back in the goals last week after a spell out due to injury, the forward is red-hot this season with 10 points in 11 games so far this season. He’s already scored against his former team this season and would certainly enjoy adding to that tally this weekend. You can definitely expect fireworks from him during the next two games.

Zach Malatesta: The defenseman notched up a goal and an assist the last time these two teams met, playing with some real offensive intent late in the game. The second-year pro brings a huge physical presence and can be a handful when he bursts forward, he’s certainly worth keeping an eye on this week.

Jesse Gabrielle: With eight points in his last nine games, the Boston Bruins prospect has been on fire for the Gladiators recently. His production has been stellar so far, and he’s been very consistent in a team that’s seen a lot of changes amongst the forwards. It’s nice to see the youngster stepping up if he maintains this pace, he’s certainly going to give the Bruins organization something to think about.

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 7 Thanksgiving Recap

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( Photo Credit: gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

As Thanksgiving weekend draws to a close, the Gladiators should be in good spirits after ending their four-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 3-2 overtime win against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. With some key players returning from injury this week, the Gladiators looked in much better form than they have recently, but there’s still a lot of work ahead for the boys. Unfortunately, despite a vastly improved performance from the defense, they came up short against the Stingrays Friday night, losing 3-2. These results leave the Glads with a 5-9-2 record, and bottom of the south division by three points.

On Wednesday night the Greenville Swamp Rabbits arrived at the Infinite Energy Arena for a south division show down. Forward, Brandon Troock, was back into the lineup after recovering from an injury and forward, Matt Lane, was back after a stint in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals. The Gladiators started the game positively, dominating the possession and testing of Garrett Bartus, the Greenville netminder, with a lot of shots. Despite the early pressure, Michael Pelech put the Swamp Rabbits ahead on their first real opportunity in the game. The first period ended 1-0 with the Glads forcing 23 saves from Bartus.

The second period started in similar fashion to first, with Atlanta controlling the game but unable to score. After 11 minutes, disaster struck as John May doubled Greenville’s lead. Despite their recent poor form, the Gladiators responded excellently just a minute later as Matt Lane marked his return with a brilliant goal. Despite being the better team, the Gladiators still trailed until Garret Ross leveled the game with 40 seconds left in the period, assisted by Zach Malatesta and Matt Lane.

Greenville rallied for the start of the third period and looked like a different team, controlling the early exchanges and forcing Svoboda to make some great saves. Momentum shifted to the Glads when Chad Duchesne was sent to the box for Greenville, giving Atlanta a great opportunity to wrestle into the lead. Zach Malatesta fired the Gladiators into a 3-2 lead. With just over five minutes left on the clock, Atlanta faced a tough test, desperate to cling on for a much-needed win. Greenville threw everything they had, pulling Bartus out of the net with one last roll of the dice. The move paid off, with Austen Brassard scoring in the final minute of the game. The Gladiators players looked devastated, despite being the better team for most of the game, they were headed into the dreaded overtime.

Jeff Pyle called his men together for some words of encouragement before overtime began, the Gladiators had fought hard for their point, but anything less then a win after a strong performance would be crushing for this team. The Glads started with Danford forcing a save from Bartus early before an absolute rocket from new signing Dan Olivieri flew into the net, stunning the Swamp Rabbits and sparking huge celebrations from the Atlanta bench. Finally, a win for the Gladiators.

Boosted by their first win in five games, Atlanta took on the South Carolina Stingrays in the second and final game of the week on Friday night. Svoboda was given the start again between the pipes, and there was a real sense of optimism at the Infinite Energy Arena. The Gladiators took an early lead through Brett McKenzie who was assisted by Branden Troock and Jesse Gabrielle. Both sides continued to exchange shots before Tad Kozun put the Stingrays on board, the first period ending 1-1. The Gladiators gave up multiple penalties throughout the second period as the Stingrays started to control the game. The Atlanta penalty kill stood firm as the clock wound down. With just a minute left, Patrick Gaul put the Stingrays ahead, the second frame ended 2-1 to South Carolina. Atlanta was back onto the penalty kill almost as soon as the third period began, Jake Flegal called for high sticking. Grant Besse scored SC’s third goal of the night to put the game beyond the Gladiators. Branden Troock managed to pull one back for the Gladiators, but his effort was in vain, 3-2 the final score.

Despite the loss to the Stingrays, the Gladiators looked vastly improved. The win against Greenville was much needed, and although they lost against South Carolina, the defense looks to be improving. Atlanta’s next game is Friday night at home to the Swamp Rabbits again. They have a chance to regroup and recover, work on some issues in training and hopefully can build some momentum for the rest of the season, as they aim to build a playoff run.

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 7 Thanksgiving Preview

( Photo Credit: Amanda Bingham / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with the Gladiators defending like a bunch of turkeys, the reduced workload will be welcome in Atlanta. Wednesday night the Glads will take on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits before facing the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday night. After earning just two points from their last six games, the Gladiators are growing desperate for wins, this week’s games are crucial.

It was confirmed yesterday that the Gladiators had released defenseman Jake Faiella and forward Justin Greenberg from their contracts and both are now eligible for waiver claims. Neither player managed to make much of an impact during their time in Atlanta. On a more positive note, the Gladiators acquired defenseman Kyle Chatham from the Witchita Thunder in exchange for cash considerations. The 25-year-old blueliner only featured in one game for the Thunder this season, and his ECHL potential remains to be seen. The Gladiators have also signed third-year pro defenseman Don Olivieri to bolster the struggling defense. Hopefully, the new additions can make a quick impact.

Given recent results, there probably isn’t a better team for the Glads to face than fellow strugglers Greenville. The Swamp Rabbits are only two points ahead of the Gladiators in the south division, and they’ve had their fair share of beat-downs. The infamous 9-0 thrashing at the hands of the Cincinnati Cyclones will still be keeping them awake at night. One thing Gladiators fans won’t want to hear is that the Swamp Rabbits have scored 15 goals in their last three games since the 9-0 defeat, so they’ll be hungry to get after the Atlanta defense. The teams have played each other twice this season, winning one game apiece. Given home advantage, the Glads will be looking at this as an opportunity to get back into the playoff race, though there’s plenty of games left in the season, the clock is ticking. I’m growing tired already of saying ‘this is a must win for the Gladiators’, but it really is.

After a day off for Thanksgiving, the Glads face the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday night. It will be Shane Eiserman’s first trip back to the Infinite Energy Arena since the Gladiators traded him to South Carolina. He certainly made them pay for that when the teams met days after the deal was done, bagging a goal and an assist just minutes after the puck dropped. Despite going 3-0 down early the last time they played the Stingrays, Atlanta battled hard, showing spells of dominance later in the game. They are certainly capable of a win against South Carolina, this one will be fun to watch.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Nolan LaPorte: After spending time on injury reserve, the third-year veteran has found some great form. With a total of eight points in just seven games so far this season, the forward bagged himself two goals and two assists last weekend. He’s hot right now if the Gladiators score this week, I’m sure he’ll be involved somehow.

Miroslav Svoboda: Given the recent defensive issues, there are no blueliners on the list this week, however, there’s no way this guy could miss out. He made 83 saves in two games last weekend, unbelievable numbers. Don’t let the recent scorelines affect your opinions of this players talent, because his future is bright. Treasure his time in Atlanta, he’s destined for great things.

Garret Ross: Four points in four games is a good start to his Gladiators career. Given the teams struggles, a point per game forward is exactly what the team needs to rediscover it’s winning ways. He’s settled into the Glads squad quickly and shown his offensive ability, expect him to keep racking up points.

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 6 Recap

( Photo Credit: Amanda Bingham / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

This weekend the Gladiators were joined by 10-year-old Ethan McClean, who traveled all the way from Ballymena, Northern Ireland thanks to the ‘Dreams Come True’ organization. Ethan is a passionate Belfast Giants fan who has been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a painful and terminal disease. It was great to see Ethan enjoy his time with the team, who welcomed him into the Atlanta Gladiators family. I hope he and his loved ones have a safe trip home and wish the best of luck to the Belfast Giants.

On the ice, the Gladiators defensive woes continued, and after a disappointing weekend, the team finds themselves bottom of the south division with a mountain to climb if they are to get their playoff hopes back on track. Three consecutive home defeats leave the team with a 4-8-2 record after 14 games. It’s no secret that the team isn’t anywhere near their potential at this stage of the season, fortunately, there’s still plenty of time for them to steady the ship and make their way up the south division standings.

On Friday night, the Gladiators took on the Norfolk Admirals. I mentioned in the week 6 preview that this game promised goals, and it delivered. After a goalless first period, new signing Garret Ross opened the scoring just four minutes into the second. The Admirals quickly responded through Jacob Graves and at 1-1, both teams looked evenly matched. The Gladiators edged in front with goals from Nolan LaPorte and Alex Overhardt before Domenic Alberga reduced the lead to a single goal, the second period ended with the Gladiators leading 3-2. Atlanta’s lead lasted five minutes into the final period with Daniel Maggio tying the game at 3-3. The Gladiators struggled to generate any more scoring chances, and the Admirals completed the comeback with two more goals from Alberga, who finished the night with a hat-trick, 5-3 the final score.

There was no time to mourn the loss to the Admirals, with the Gladiators back in action on Saturday against the Florida Everblades, the team that dumped them out of the playoffs last year (in case you needed reminding). Despite a slow start to the season, the Everblades picked up where they left off against Atlanta, taking a 2-0 lead with Joe Cox and Nathan Perkovich both scoring. Hopes for the Gladiators to start the second period strongly were dashed when Derek Sheppard put Florida three goals ahead just 18 seconds after the puck dropped. Nolan LaPorte finally got the Glads on the board with his second goal of the weekend, one of the few positives for Atlanta. The third period was the most exciting of the game, both teams combined for five goals, Jordon Southorn, John McCarron and David Friedmann scoring for Florida, and Alex Overhardt and Justin MacDonald for the Gladiators. The game ended 6-3.

The six goals Atlanta conceded on Saturday were the most they had conceded in a single game so far this season, that was until they played the Everblades again on Sunday afternoon. Seconds after the puck dropped, Atlanta’s Tyler Howe dropped the gloves and went toe-to-toe with Florida’s Mitch Vandergunst in an effort to inspire his team. It seemed to have the desired effect. After peppering the Florida net with shots, the Gladiators took an early lead as Justin MacDonald found the net for the second time in two games. The score remained 1-0 for the remainder of the first, despite creating a number of chances, the Gladiators couldn’t add to their lead.

The first period was a success, however, the second was an absolute disaster. The Gladiators were blown away by six Florida goals, yes six. Zach Nastasiuk and Blake Winiecki put Florida ahead before Joe Cox added two of his own. A goal each from Jordon Southorn and Tommy Thompson completed the second-period demolition. Battling for pride in the final period of the weekend, Derek Nesbitt pulled one back for the Glads, but seconds later Winiecki scored another for Florida. Ben Danford found the net for Atlanta, but the misery continued, Kyle Platzer scored shortly after for the Everblades and the game finished 8-3.

The Gladiators have looked decent offensively recently. Scoring three goals in each of the last three games shows consistency, but defensively the team has a lot of work to do. Conceding 19 goals in three games is disastrous at any level, especially when playing at home. The numbers could have been worse, goalies Miroslav Svoboda and Colton Phinney combined for 110 saves last weekend. Moving forward the defense must improve. The Gladiators do get a chance to redeem themselves on Wednesday when they face the  Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Surely the only way is up from here.

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: Gladiators Week 6 Preview

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( Photo credit: atlantagladiators.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

After a tough road trip last week, the Gladiators begin a two-week homestand on Friday night when they take on the Norfolk Admirals, a team they’ve got to know pretty well recently, before back to back games against the Florida Everblades on Saturday and Sunday. It’s no secret that the Gladiators have struggled so far this season, particularly defensively. Coach Pyle now has a chance to rally the troops and try to build some momentum with a stretch of games at the Infinite Energy Arena. There’s certainly work to do to get the team into playoff contention.

Defenseman Olivier Galipeau has been recalled to the Providence Bruins which will hurt the Gladiators power play. So far he’s the teams highest scoring defenseman having contributed nine points so far on the season. Given the Boston Bruins injury problems, it’s possible that Olivier has been called to Providence as cover and that he will return to Atlanta at some point. The Gladiators announced the signing of defenseman Faiella in replacement for Galipeau.

Forward Justin MacDonald has been activated from reserve and replaces Brandon Troock who has been placed on reserve. New signing Eric Freschi is active on the roster and will look to hit the ice running. There hasn’t been much news about Brett McKenzie who was helped off the ice on Tuesday with what looked like a knee injury, so it’s unclear if he will feature this weekend or not. I would expect netminding duty to be split by Miroslav Svoboda and Colton Phinney.

If we can expect anything from the first game of the weekend, it’s goals, lots of them. The last three games between the Gladiators and the Norfolk Admirals have produced 19 scores. Both teams are capable of winning but with home advantage, the Gladiators will be targeting two points. The Admirals currently sit second in the south division, seven points above Atlanta, a gap the Glads will have to reduce in order to make the postseason.

On Saturday night the Gladiators take on the Florida Everblades for the first of two games against the divisional rivals. It’s the first time the teams have met competitively since the Everblades dumped the Glads out of the playoffs last season. So far the Everblades have been a far cry from the team that went to game seven of the Kelly Cup finals last year, the Gladiators will be out for revenge. Whether or not the Glads can overcome last years thrashing remains to be seen, but you can bet your bottom dollar that coach Pyle will have had the Florida games circled on his calendar for a long time. History tells us there will be no love lost between the teams, these games could get ugly.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Derek Nesbitt: With Two goals and an assist in his last two games, the veteran is finding some good form after a steady start to the season. He’s been a dependable asset to the Gladiators for years and sets high standards for his teammates. A true leader, he will be determined to score against the Everblades.

Ben Danford: The third-year defenseman has contributed eight valuable assists in his 11 games already this season. With Galipeau returning to Providence the Gladiators need someone to step up on the power play, I believe that he is the man to do it. A player who’s certainly not shy of moving into the attacking zone, his 10 goals last season prove he’s capable of stepping up for the Glads.

Jesse Gabrielle: With eight points in his 10 games for the Gladiators, the Boston Bruins prospect is starting to prove the critics wrong. He is a technically gifted skater and looks to have settled into the team well, given the doubts about his attitude in previous seasons. With injuries happening in both Boston and Providence, he’ll be focused on impressing his peers in Atlanta, in a make or break season for the young forward.

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: Gladiators Week 5 Road Trip Recap

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( Photo Credit: Amanda Bingham gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators week on the road is finally over. Back to back road games are always tough, and the team will be pleased to get home after a haul of 2 points from a possible 6. After a stressful week, the players and supporters can take some comfort from the upcoming schedule, which has the Gladiators at home for the next 2 weeks. Head coach Jeff Pyle will use this time to regroup and hopefully build some momentum to help the team match the preseason expectations of a playoff run. Before the homestand begins, let’s take a look back at how the team fared on the road in the last 3 games.

On Friday night, the Gladiators faced off against the Norfolk Admirals for their 3rd encounter in a row. After thumping them 5-1 the week before, there was plenty of confidence heading into the game. Colton Phinney was given the start between the pipes after a promising start to the season with the Adirondack Thunder, though the Chatham, NJ native didn’t get much help from his defensemen. By the 2nd intermission, the Gladiators were 3-0 down after goals from Darik Angeli, Jacob Graves, and Luke Nogard. The only real positive from the game was Branden Troock’s goal 5 minutes into the 3rd, which briefly gave Atlanta hope, before Luke Nogard’s second of the night condemned the Gladiators to a 4-1 loss.

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After a disappointing result, the Gladiators were offered a chance of redemption on Saturday night, and boy did they take it. Against the same opponent, at the same venue, the Gladiators faced off against the Norfolk Admirals for the 4th game in a row. After starting the game slowly, Atlanta was 2-0 down after 7 minutes with goals from Luke Nogard and Taylor Cammarata. Forward Brett McKenzie pulled one back for the Glads, making the score 2-1 at the end of the first period.

The Gladiators onslaught began just 19 seconds into the 2nd period when Alex Overhardt leveled the game at 2-2. Atlanta took the lead 6 minutes later when Providence Bruins loanee Olivier Galipeau scored his 3rd goal of the season. Nolan LaPorte finished the second-period rout with just 15 seconds left in the frame, Atlanta leading 4-2 at the break. The Admirals fought back in the 3rd with Cammarata’s second of the night but 2 minutes later Derek Nesbitt’s neat finish restored the 2 goal advantage, and the Gladiators emerged 5-3 victors. Goaltender Miroslav Svoboda finishing the night with 34 saves. The win was Jeff Pyle’s 481st as an ECHL coach, making him 3rd on the all-time ECHL coaching win list.

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Tuesday night the Gladiators traveled to the North Charleston Coliseum, hoping to emerge triumphant over the South Carolina Stingrays. Before the game, it was announced that the Glads had traded promising young forward, Shane Eiserman, to the Stingrays in exchange for forward Garrett Ross, a move which had a huge effect on the contest. In the second minute of the game, the recently traded Eiserman assisted Sam Fioretti, and the Stingrays took an early lead.

Moments later, Eiserman continued to haunt his former team as he bagged a goal, doubling the deficit and stunning his former teammates. Patrick Gaul piled on the misery and put Atlanta 3-0 down inside the first 10 minutes of the game. Derek Nesbitt wrestled one back, and the score was 3-1 at the end of the first. Both teams exchanged a goal in the second, Grant Besse first for South Carolina before Jesse Gabrielle scored the Gladiators second of the night. The third period was relatively quiet, and the score remained 4-2, a disappointing loss for Atlanta who was out-shot 39-16.

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The results leave the Gladiators 6th in the south division, just 1 point above last-placed Greenville Swamp Rabbits. There’s certainly some work for coach Pyle to do, the stretch of home games comes at a good time and gives them a chance to turn things around. The Gladiators are in action 3 times this weekend, Friday against the Norfolk Admirals and Saturday and Sunday against the Florida Everblades.

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Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Gladiators Week 5 Preview

( Photo Credit: Amanda Bingham gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

After claiming 3 points from a possible 4 last weekend, the Gladiators fought their way out of a 5 game slump and grabbed a much-needed win. The 4 game stint against the Norfolk Admirals is well underway, and as expected, is providing goals. The Gladiators were beaten 3-2 in overtime after a closely fought game on Friday, but they bounced back with a 5-1 thrashing in the rematch. Forward Brandon Troock earned his first career hat-trick, and new signing Shane Eiserman got himself on the scoresheet. Head coach Jeff Pyle also made history, equalling John Brophy as the 3rd highest all-time wins for an ECHL coach with 480. He only needs 100 more to become the most successful ECHL coach, at least in terms of wins, good luck coach.

The Gladiators roster has been boosted by the return of Miroslav Svoboda. After a strong start to the season, the Czech netminder was recalled by the Nashville Predators as coverage, and after a short spell in the NHL, returns to Atlanta. He was slotted straight into the starting role and made an incredible 75 saves in 2 games. He’s certainly one for Nashville’s future. The Gladiators also signed forward Tyler Howe, who trained with the team in the preseason. At 6-foot-6 and 229-pounds, he adds a huge physical presence to the offense, I’m certainly excited to see what he can bring to the team. Forward Justin Greenberg has been given a pro deal after an impressive start to the season with 10 points in 5 games for the Peoria Rivermen of the SPHL. Like Howe, Greenberg also spent time with the Gladiators in the preseason. On Wednesday it was confirmed that the Bruins recalled forward Joona Koppanen to Providence. Carl Persson was also recalled to the Milwaukee Admirals after a short spell in Atlanta.

This weekend sees the Gladiators travel to the Norfolk Scope to take on the Admirals again, this time on the road. The puck drops at 7pm ET on Friday night, with the weekends second game taking place at 7pm ET on Saturday. After their triumphant 5-1 victory last week, the Gladiators will be confident heading into this road trip, though they will have to be sharper defensively. They allowed almost 80 shots in last weeks games against the Admirals, who sit at the top of the southern division. The Glads have had good form in front of the net recently, scoring 12 goals in their last 4 games so will be confident of keeping up this trend. I think the powerplay is going to be important on the road. If players like Danford and Galipeau can get involved offensively, then the team is certainly capable of coming away with points. This weekend is going to be a big test for Atlanta, I’m confident they can come away with something.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Brandon Troock: After earning his first career hat-trick I couldn’t leave him off this list. With 7 points so far on the season, the former Dallas Stars prospect is the Gladiators leading point scorer. Right now he’s playing with a purpose, and his determination is paying off. The Norfolk Admirals will do well to stop him adding to his tally in the next 2 games.

Miroslav Svoboda: What else is there to say apart from 75 saves in 2 games? Despite 2 fantastic games, it wasn’t enough to make him the ECHL goalie of the week, though I feel like it’s only a matter of time before he bags that accolade. The Czech netminder will be a huge boost to this team moving forward, I hope the Predators don’t come calling for him any time soon.

Shane Eiserman: The recent signing finds his way on this list for the second week in a row. It didn’t take long for him to find his way onto the scoresheet for the Gladiators, he now has 4 points in 4 games on the season including his contributions with the Thunder. The rookie forward is in good form right now, and the more time he has to settle in with his new teammates, he’s only going to get better.

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Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Gladiators Week 4 Preview

( Photo credit: atlantagladiators.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Gladiators return from their weekend on the road with a point after a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Jacksonville Icemen and a frustrating 4-3 loss to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Atlanta fought hard and perhaps deserved more from the weekend, but what have we learned? Well, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, the southern division is going to be very tough this year. Atlanta started the season with bags of optimism, but have been dealt some tough losses against divisional opponents, they currently sit 6th.

Against the Swamp Rabbits, Atlanta controlled large chunks of the game and created more chances, out-shooting them with 30 attempts on goal to 24. Despite this, Greenville put 4 past the Sean Bonar, punishing every mistake the Gladiators made. I think it’s fair to say that they could do with some luck, but the ECHL is an unforgiving league, the Glads will have to iron out the errors in order to start climbing up the league.

Jeff Pyle continues to tweak the roster as he tries to build the best team possible. The Gladiators have shown their intentions are still very much on success, spending the cash and making a huge trade for goaltender Colton Phinney and forward Shane Eiserman who join from league leaders, the Adirondack Thunder. Shortly after the trade was announced, Phinney was named as the ECHL goaltender of the week after going 2-0 with a .968 save percentage for the Thunder in his last 2 games. Following the departure of Miroslav Svoboda, I expect the second-year pro to slot straight into the starting role for Atlanta and will be a boost to the team.

Forward Shane Eiserman impressed in his 2 professional starts, bagging himself a goal and 2 assists. The Newburyport, MA native has represented the United States in competition, most notably at the U18 World Junior Championships. Tyler Moy also rejoined the Glads after a spell with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. The forward scored in Atlanta’s season opener and after a stint in the AHL registered an assist against Greenville. In order to make room on the roster, the Gladiators confirmed the release of forwards Andrew Schmit and Luke Sandler as well as goalie Ian Sylves.

The Gladiators will face the Norfolk Admirals 4 times over the next 2 weeks. The series starts in Atlanta, with 2 games at the Infinite Energy Arena as the Gladiators look to bounce back from last week and leap-frog their divisional rivals. The Admirals will be confident heading into the series with 11 goals from their last 3 games, though they did also concede 9 times, so the Gladiators will be excited to get at them, especially on the power play which has been productive so far. If anything, you can expect a lot of goals. Back to back games against the same opponent almost gives this stretch a playoff vibe, I’m sure we’ll see the gloves come off as these divisional rivals clash. I hope that the Gladiators can thrive on the intensity. Whatever happens, we’re in for a good series against the Admirals.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Shane Eiserman: The rookie forward arrives in Atlanta carrying bags of potential. After scoring 3 points in his first 2 games as a pro, he’ll want to hit the ground running for the Gladiators. Coach Pyle likes what he sees from the 23-year-old, he’ll be given the freedom he needs to create and score chances.

Joona Koppanen: The Boston Bruins prospect has had a few games to adjust to life in the ECHL. As time goes on, his chemistry with the team is only going to improve. Don’t be fooled by his towering frame, he brings European flair to the ice, and as his confidence grows, he’ll be more than a handful for opposing defensemen.

Brett McKenzie: The rookie finally bagged his first ECHL goals against the Swamp Rabbits and had a really strong game. His first goals will no doubt give him added confidence. He enters the series against the Admirals in good form, now that the floodgates have opened, keep an eye on him.