Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 18 Preview

( Photo Credit: gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Gladiators march into week 18 with a nine-game point streak after three straight wins against Greenville, Florida, and Orlando. The results have boosted Atlanta six points above last place and the team are starting to reel in the rest of the South Division. The Glads will play four times this week, starting with a visit to Greenville on Monday night. The players will have some rest before three back to back games, two at home to South Carolina followed by a trip to Norfolk.

The Gladiators are in the best form of the season, but it has taken a lot of personnel changes to get to this point. It was announced over the weekend that forward David Mazurek had been released from the team. He managed five points (2g, 3a) in 17 games for Atlanta, including an assist in last weeks win over Florida, but it wasn’t enough to keep him in coach Pyle’s plans. In other news, Atlanta activated defenseman Kyle Chatham from reserve in place of defenseman Jake Flegal who heads onto the reserve list.

Atlanta’s first opponent of the week is the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, who recently replaced the Glads as the worst team in the ECHL. The Gladiators demolished Greenville 4-0 last week in dominant fashion and will be looking to start the week with another win. The Swamp Rabbits will have the advantage of playing at home, but the Glads have won their last two games at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, this does not look good for Greenville.

After two days of rest, the Gladiators will host the South Carolina Stingrays for back to back games on Thursday and Friday night. It will be the eighth and ninth time the two sides have faced off this season. The Stingrays won the first six games against the Glads with Atlanta winning the last encounter in overtime. In fact, three of those games went into overtime, and five were won by just one goal. The Stingrays are currently second in the South Division, and the two games against them will be a good measure at just how much Atlanta has improved. Last weeks win over Florida proves that the Glads are more than capable of beating the best, the challenge will be to do it on a consistent basis. These are two important games for Atlanta.

The Glads will take on the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday for the fourth and final game of the week. The Admirals lead the head to head series 4-3, and it will be the first meeting between the teams since December last year. Based on current form, Atlanta would normally be favorites, but the burden of three back to back games will take its toll. The Glads have pulled off some impressive wins lately, but Norfolk should be taking the points in this one.

Heading into week 18, the Gladiators are now eight points away from a playoff spot. A season-high 10,243 spectators turned up to watch the Orlando game, the fans are starting to get behind their team. There is still a lot of work to be done in order to get there, but the team is heading in the right direction.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Joseph Widmar: After taking a few games to settle into his new team, the second-year forward has scored eight points (3g, 5a) in eight games, including a dramatic last gasp goal against the Solar Bears last week. With four games crammed into this week, the offense will have to share the workload, expect him to contribute.

Nick Bligh: After a short spell off the scoresheet, Bligh found the net against Orlando last week and added an assist to his tally on the night. Atlanta is playing well and he, like many of his offensive peers, is going to be an important player this week.

Nolan LaPorte: Certainly one of Atlanta’s unsung heroes, LaPorte has scored 23 points in 31 games for the Glads this season. He bagged two goals against Greenville last week and will be looking to add to his tally this week, watch him closely.

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 17 Preview

( Photo Credit: lockedinmagazine.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Gladiators win streak came to an end against the Orlando Solar Bears last week, but they have earned 11 points from their last six games. The team’s attention now turns to week 17 and three tough games against divisional rivals; Greenville, Florida and Orlando. The Gladiators are in their best form of the season and have done well to close the gap in the South Division standings. The Glads next challenge is to start climbing up the table.

The big story from Atlanta this week was the trade that sent defenseman Ben Danford to the Toledo Walleye in exchange for forward Daniel Leavens and defenseman Samuel Thibault. The Gladiators then sent Thibault to the Indy Fuel to complete the trade for forward Avery Peterson. Glads fans will be sad to see Danford leave, but they got two very good players in return. Peterson has already found the net for the Glads and Leavens has 78 points in 103 career ECHL games. Both players add significant fire power to the roster, which boasts a lot more talent now then it did at the start of the season. Ultimately, this is a hockey trade, one that will benefit the Gladiators as they look to climb up the standings. In other roster news, defensemen Jake Flegal and Vytal Cote have both been placed on reserve.

The first opponents of the week are the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, who have had a rough spell lately. They have lost eight games in a row and the Gladiators are now level on points with them. Atlanta will be looking for a strong result in this contest, having won the last two games between the teams. Expect the Glads to win this one.

On Thursday night the Gladiators face a tough test against league leaders, the Florida Everblades. The ‘Blades have had Atlanta’s number for a while now, but the Gladiators can take some comfort from the win against them just after new year. It seems a long time ago but the Glads have gone 5-1-1 since that victory. It is never an easy game against Florida, but Atlanta is capable of causing an upset in this game.

The Gladiators will take on the Orlando Solar Bears in the third and final game of week 17. The overtime loss last weekend will be fresh in their memories and Atlanta will be desperate for revenge. There is no doubt they were the better team in that game, but they could not get the job done. The Solar Bears play a very physical game, as a result they spend a lot of time on the penalty kill, which they are very good at. Atlanta has to be more productive on the power play, if they are, they will snatch two points in this one.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Derek Nesbitt: While his production slowed last week, he still contributed an important assist. He remains the Glads top scorer this season and has been very consistent. Expect him to contribute more this week with three big games, the stage is set for the veteran forward to lead his team to victory.

Sean Bonar: The goaltender is 7-0-1 in his last eight starts. He has been incredible in recent weeks. It is no coincidence that his strong performances and Atlanta’s point streak go hand in hand. Bonar has been there every time the Glads need him, he is on fire right now.

Avery Peterson: He scored his first goal for Atlanta against the Solar Bears last week and he will be looking to add to his account during the next three games. The Grand Rapids, MN native has come to Atlanta with bags of potential. He is certainly one to watch 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 16 Recap

( Photo Credit: twitter.com/atlgladiators )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators five-game winning streak ended on Saturday night after an overtime loss against the Orlando Solar Bears. Despite the result, the Glads fought hard in front of a huge home crowd and have extended their point streak to six games. The result puts Atlanta level on points with next weeks opponent, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, with 33.

It was Star Wars night at the Infinite Energy Arena, and a season-high crowd of 10,003 fans took to their seats to watch the Gladiators take on the Dark Side (Orlando Solar Bears). Last week’s ECHL Goaltender of the Week, Sean Bonar, was given the start for Atlanta and was forced to make a save 11 seconds into the game. Both teams had early shots in an exciting couple of minutes before Orlando’s Corey Kalk was called for slashing. The Gladiators took the lead on the ensuing power play, with a goal from Avery Peterson, assisted by Matt Lane and Olivier Galipeau.

Shortly after taking the lead, the Glads were awarded another power play after Orlando’s Tayler Thompson was caught slashing. This time the Solar Bears penalty kill stood firm, preventing Atlanta from getting any shots on goal. Following the power play, Martin Ouellette made a string of good saves for Orlando. Eventually, he was beaten by Filip Pyrochta, scoring on his Gladiators debut, assisted by Matt Lane and Derek Nesbitt. Both teams had chances late in the period, but the score remained 2-0 heading into the first intermission.

It was a frantic start to the second period, the fans were treated to some 4vs4 hockey after both teams were punished for breaking the rules. Just as things were calming down, the Solar Bears were awarded another power play after Nolan LaPorte was caught holding an opponents stick. Orlando took full advantage, and Trevor Olsen scored for the visitors. After the goal, neither side created any clear cut chances and the second period ended with Atlanta leading 2-1.

The Gladiators were back on the power play shortly after the start of the third frame, Orlando’s Oleg Sosunov was called for high-sticking. The Solar Bears dug in and killed the penalty with ease. Atlanta continued to put pressure on the visiting team but was unable to restore their two-goal lead. Nine minutes into the final frame of regulation, Orlando leveled the score with a goal from Colby McCauley. As the clock ticked on, the Gladiators were left frustrated. After controlling the game and out-shooting the Solar Bears 32-21, the result would be decided by overtime.

From the moment the puck dropped, it was a frantic two minutes of overtime, with both goaltenders busy. Unfortunately for Atlanta, it was the Solar Bears that scored the winner. Tayler Thompson netted his second goal of the night, ending the game 3-2, Atlanta’s first defeat in 6 games.

While Atlanta’s win streak is over, the team has kept their point streak active and will now turn their attention towards week 17. They will be up against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, Florida Everblades, and Orlando Solar Bears all at home. If the points streak continues, they’ll have a chance to move above the Swamp Rabbits in the South Division standings, which would be a huge step forward for the team that ended 2018 miles behind their rivals.

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 16 Preview

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators head into week 16 firing on all cylinders. After five wins in a row, the Glads are full of confidence and take on the Orlando Solar Bears at home on Saturday night, in their only game of the weekend. With some new additions to the defensive core, the Gladiators will be focused on extending their streak to six games.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that the Nashville Predators had assigned defenseman Filip Pyrochta to Atlanta from the Milwaukee Admirals. The Czech native has played in 24 games for the AHL team this season and contributed three assists. The Admirals also loaned defenseman Brian Cooper to the Gladiators. Cooper has tallied four assists in 19 games for Milwaukee this season. After an impressive return from injury, defenseman Ben Danford has signed a PTO with the Admirals. He leaves Atlanta tied for the team-lead in assists from a defenseman with nine, despite missing 14 games. It’s his second stint in the AHL, and he fully deserves the opportunity.

This week’s South Division showdown will be the fifth head to head between the Gladiators and Solar Bears this season. Orlando currently leads the series 3-1, after winning the last three contests. The Solar Bears are 5-5 in their last 10 games, compared to the Glads who are 7-3. Orlando is a very physical team and has the highest PIM in the division at 733, so Atlanta should get plenty of power-play opportunities. There’s a huge grudge between the two teams and the refs will be busy. If the Glads can keep their composure and play their natural game, they have a great chance of winning. Playing at home should give them the edge in this one.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Olivier Galipeau: As I’ve mentioned, the power play is going to be an important weapon for the Glads this week. With Danford out of the picture, the stage is set for Galipeau to step up and support the forwards. He scored a goal in the season opener against the Solar Bears and hasn’t had much offensive production lately, this is a great opportunity for the Providence Bruins to add to his season tally.

Matt Lane: The forward returned to Atlanta in style with a goal and an assist in his first game back. He’s spent a considerable amount of time in the AHL this season, and his class has shown. He has nine points (3g, 6a) in 11 games for Atlanta so far, almost a point per game. He’s a talented player, and the Glads will want to make the most of his time back with the team.

Nick Bligh: After a steady start, the forward now has 14 points (8g, 6a) in 17 games for the Gladiators. He is full of confidence after scoring the game-winner in the shootout against Jacksonville and the Solar Bears will struggle to slow him down. If he gets a chance on Friday night, expect him to bury it into the net.

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 15 Recap

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators are on their best run this season. Three victories this week extend their winning streak to five games. The Glads have now won seven of their last 10 games and closed the gap on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits to just one point. This is by far the Gladiators best spell of the season, and they are finally starting to lift themselves off the bottom of the standings.

The weekend began with two back to back road games against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The Gladiators started Sean Bonar between the pipes for game one and set about closing the gap on their South Division rivals. Greenville had far more shots in the first period, but Atlanta weathered the storm, and the game remained scoreless heading into the first intermission.

Matt Lane opened the scoring for Atlanta eight minutes into the second period. He was assisted by Luke Stork and Alex Overhardt. The Glads continued to attack, and it wasn’t long before Stork doubled Atlanta’s lead with a goal of his own, assisted by Lane and Zach Malatesta. 2-0 the score at the end of the second.

The Swamp Rabbits started the third period well, but once again Atlanta stood firm. Halfway through the third, forward Brett McKenzie carried the puck into Greenville’s zone and rifled a shot into the net to seal the game for the Gladiators. Bonar finished with 30 saves and a shutout. It was a good team performance and a well deserved 3-0 win for Atlanta.

The stage was set nicely for game two of the weekend, a rematch against the same opponents. Bonar was given the start again after his strong showing the night before. After an even start to the game, Joseph Widmar gave Atlanta the lead in the closing stages of the first period with his first ECHL goal, assisted by Nick Bligh.

As the second period got underway, the Gladiators continued to torment the Swamp Rabbits and doubled their lead with a goal from defenseman Jake Flegal, assisted by McKenzie and Nolan LaPorte. Despite the Glads two-goal lead, the game was far from over. Brendan Harms managed to pull one back for the hosts late in the second, giving them momentum heading into the third period. Greenville gave everything in the final frame, but the Gladiators defended well and were able to hold on for a 2-1 win.

After grabbing two wins on the road, the Gladiators returned home to face the Jacksonville Icemen for the third and final game of the week. After giving up just one goal in the two games against Greenville, Bonar was given remained in net Atlanta. The Gladiators created a lot more chances than the Icemen in the opening frame but were unable to find the net. Despite their best efforts, the first period ended scoreless.

As the second period began, the Gladiators continued to out-shoot their opponents, but it was the visitors that took the lead with a power-play goal from Cody Fowlie. The Glads had to dig deep and eventually tied the game with a power-play goal of their own. Justin MacDonald, the scorer, assisted by Widmar and Joel Messner. The score remained 1-1 until the end of regulation, taking the game to overtime.

Both teams had chances in overtime, but neither side could find the winning goal, taking the game to a shootout. Forward Nick Bligh stepped up and slotted home for the Gladiators with a neat finish. Then it was over to Bonar who made three great saves to secure the win, much to the relief of the fans.

After a string of outstanding games for Atlanta, Sean Bonar was named the ECHL Goaltender of the Week. He made 80 saves in his last three games, earned a shutout and stopped all three shots in the shootout against the Icemen. He’s in incredible form and fully deserves the award.

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 15 Preview

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

2019 has been a success for the Atlanta Gladiators so far. For the first time in a long time, the Glads are on a win streak, after two wins in two games last week. They still sit at the bottom of the South Division by seven points, but they’re starting to close the gap. Two games on the road at the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and a home game against the Jacksonville Icemen this week gives Atlanta a great chance to catch up on their rivals.

Head coach and GM, Jeff Pyle, has been busy with more changes to the roster. On Wednesday, the Glads announced the acquisition of forward Avery Peterson, who joins from the Indy Fuel in exchange for future considerations. Peterson has seven points (1g, 6a) in 15 games this season. Forward Matt Lane also returns to Atlanta after he was reassigned by the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. He has seven points (2g, 5a) for the Gladiators this season. Defenseman Ben Danford has been activated from injured reserve, while Brandon Troock has been placed on IR, effective Dec 20. Forward Dave Mazurek and Defenseman Vytal Cote have also been placed on reserve. The Gladiators confirmed that forward Tyler Deresky and defenseman Brandon McMartin had been released from the team.

The Gladiators head to Greenville for back to back road games against the Swamp Rabbits on Friday and Saturday night. The Glads charge into the weekend on the back of two wins last week and five wins in their last 10 games. The Swamp Rabbits meanwhile have lost their last four games. Although momentum is on Atlanta’s side, Greenville leads the head to head series this year 4-2 and have the advantage of playing at home. Whatever happens, this will be a physical game, expect big hits and probably a few punches to be thrown. Both sides are capable of winning, but I think Atlanta has a good chance to come away with points.

On Monday night, the Glads return home to face the Jacksonville Icemen. Last week’s game between to the two teams was a memorable one for Atlanta. The biggest home crowd of the season, Derek Nesbitt made his record-breaking 358th appearance for the franchise, and Nick Bligh scored four goals in the first period. It was a great performance from Atlanta and will be difficult to replicate, but the Glads are more than capable of winning. The Icemen will be out for revenge which makes this game an intriguing one.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Nick Bligh: Six points in two games last week, Bligh was on fire. He scored the overtime winner against the Stingrays and then bagged four, yes four goals, against the Icemen in the first quarter of the game. It’s hard to put his contributions into words, but if the forward can find just half of that production this week, the Glads are going to be in with a good chance to win games.

Joseph Widmar: His contributions last week were over looked by many, but the second-year forward made three assists in the game against the Icemen. He has bags of potential and if he can continue to serve up helpers like that he’ll be a great asset to this Gladiators team. I’m excited to see what else he can do this season, he’s definitely one to watch.

Derek Nesbitt: The Gladiators all-time leading goals scorer now has more appearances for the team than anyone. He scored five points (3g, 2a) last week and is so important to this Atlanta team. He’s performed well all season and has been integral at keeping the team focused when results haven’t been going well. A true leader, you can’t take your eyes off him on while he’s on the ice.

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 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 <–