Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 23 Preview

( Photo Credit: Dale Zanine / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

After a tough week on the road, the Atlanta Gladiators return home for three divisional matchups against South Carolina, Florida, and Norfolk. Coach Pyle will be working hard to make sure his team returns to winning ways and keep their playoff hopes alive. The Glads are just two points behind the South Carolina Stingrays, who are in the final playoff spot. This is a crucial week, and the playoff picture could look very different after the next three games.

The Glads were boosted by the return of Brett McKenzie last Friday, following a stint in the AHL with the Providence Bruins. The rookie forward made an instant impact, but the big move of the week was the trade that saw forward, Branden Troock, sent to the Maine Mariners in exchange for defenseman, John Furgele. The rookie blueliner has been a standout performer this season, contributing 21 points (8g, 13a) in 51 games for the Mariners. He opened his Glads account straight away with two assists for his new team. In other news, forward Jared Ross has been signed and added to the active roster. Derek Nesbitt and Jake Flegal return from reserve while Joshua Victor and Joe Widmar head the other way. Defenseman Kevin Montgomery has been placed on IR as of March ninth.

The Gladiators started the week against the South Carolina Stingrays. With the two teams so close in the South Division standings, this is the most important game of the week. Playing at home will be an advantage for Atlanta, but with so much at stake, it is a tough game to call. The Glads have been closing in on the Stingrays for some time, and letting them win would increase the gap to four points. Both teams will be feeling the pressure, this could be a defining moment in the playoff race.

The games do not get any easier for Atlanta. Following the crucial game against South Carolina, the Glads get a chance of redemption against the Florida Everblades. Atlanta lost all three games against the ‘Blades last week, but they managed to earn a point in the third match up. The Everblades have been a problem for a very long time, but the Glads know they are capable of beating them. Home ice will be an advantage, but Atlanta will have to be at their best to win this one.

The Glads finish the week at home against the Norfolk Admirals. It has been over a month since the two teams last faced off. Since then, the Gladiators have climbed above Norfolk in the South Division standings and head into the week five points ahead of them. The Admirals are 3-6-0-1 in their last 10 and have not won in six games. Earlier this week, they picked up former Gladiator, Shane Eiserman, via trade which will add spice to the game.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Brett McKenzie: After spending time in the AHL with the Providence Bruins, McKenzie returned to the Glads and picked up where he left off scoring three points (1g, 2a) last week. The rookie forward has become an important player for Atlanta and is currently third on the team in total points with 36 (12g, 24a).

Olivier Galipeau: The rookie defenseman has been quiet offensively in recent weeks and is due for some points. The Gladiators power play has been strong all season, and Olivier is a key part of it. He is a skillful player and always fun to watch, keep an eye on him.

Nick Bligh: The third-year forward exploded against Jacksonville with three first period goals (for the second time this season) and has seven points (4g, 3a) in his last five games for Atlanta. He has been in solid form over the last two weeks and will be 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 22 Preview

( Photo Credit: Amanda Bingham / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators face four tough divisional matchups this week. They will play three games on the road against the Florida Everblades before heading to Jacksonville to take on the Icemen. It will not be an easy ride, but the Glads have a great opportunity to test themselves in a playoff style scenario. Atlanta is just one point behind the South Carolina Stingrays in the race to the postseason.

Last week the Glads were boosted by the return of forwards Derek Nesbitt and Branden Troock, but there have been significant changes to the roster since then. After an impressive week, forwards Matt Lane and Zach Magwood were recalled to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. Atlanta acquired defenseman Joshua Victor, but the rookie was placed on reserve along with forward Luke Stork.

For the second time this season, Atlanta heads to the Hertz Arena for a three-game stint against the Florida Everblades. There are not many teams that would look forward to playing three straight games against the South Division leaders, but Coach Pyle will ensure that his players are prepared. Both teams are 6-4 in their last 10 games and enter the week in similar form. After struggling against the Everblades for almost two seasons, the Glads have won two of the last three games against them so they can take confidence from that. Atlanta has won 14 straight games when scoring first, so a good start will be vital against the Everblades.

Atlanta will finish the week in Florida against Jacksonville. The Glads have unfinished business after falling 2-0 to the Icemen last week. They will be hoping to get revenge and close the gap on their divisional rivals. Four road games is never easy, but the Glads will be motivated to prove that they belong in the playoffs.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Joe Widmar: The second-year forward has been a solid addition to the Glads roster with 17 points (6g, 11a) in 25 games. After being traded by a few teams, he has settled in Atlanta and been a consistent performer. Last week he bagged a goal and an assist and is definitely worth keeping an eye on this week.

Michael Bitzer: The back-up goaltender struggled in his last start, being pulled before the end of the first period. With the Glads playing four games this week, he is likely to start at least once. Bitzer is a very talented goalie and will bounce back from his last start. He recorded his first professional shutout just two games before and a lot has been said about his ability. He will be fun to watch this week.

Branden Troock: Troock’s return from injury was a big boost for the Gladiators last week. He hit the ground running with three points (1g, 2a) after a long period on Injured Reserve. In 19 games for Atlanta this season, he’s tallied 17 points (10g, 7a) which is just short of a point per game. He is one of the most productive forwards in the league and if he can stay healthy, will be a very important player for Atlanta down the stretch.

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 21 Preview

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The playoff race is really heating up in the South Division, and the Atlanta Gladiators are in the hunt for a spot. Just two points separate South Carolina, Atlanta, and Norfolk. After an impressive week on the road, Atlanta has a chance to boost its playoff hopes with three games against divisional opponents. The week starts with a trip to Jacksonville to face the Icemen before the Glads take on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits both at home and on the road.

The Gladiators announced two big moves on Tuesday. Forward Tyson Fawcett joined Atlanta from the Reading Royals, in exchange for cash considerations. The experienced center has only managed five points (4g, 1a) in 35 games this year, but has scored 118 points (52g, 66a) in 278 ECHL games. He will bring experience to the Gladiators forward core and has a chance to feature against his former team, the Jacksonville Icemen, this week. After an impressive spell in Atlanta, defenseman Filip Pyrochta was recalled to the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. He notched two goals and three assists in his time with the Glads. In other news, the Admirals reassigned forward Zach Magwood to Atlanta. The first-year pro earned an assist in three games for the Glads earlier in the season. Defenseman Kevin Montgomery has been activated from reserve after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, and Mr. Gladiator, Derek Nesbitt, returns to the lineup after missing out on the Rapid City road trip.

The matchup against Jacksonville will be Atlanta’s fifth consecutive game on the road. After taking four points from a possible six last week, the Glads will be hoping to end the road trip in style. The Icemen are 5-3-1-1 in their last 10 games and third place in the South Division standings, six points ahead of Atlanta. The Gladiators have won the last two games against Jacksonville and the Icemen will be looking over their shoulders as the playoff race heats up, this will certainly be a fun game to watch.

Game two of the week marks the return of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, who are no strangers to the Infinite Energy Arena. After replacing Atlanta at the bottom of the South Division standings, the Swamp Rabbits have been able to win some games and have improved to 5-5 in their last 10. It is always difficult to call when these two teams play, but with home advantage, the Glads should win comfortably.

Atlanta finished off the week with a trip to Greenville, hopefully on the back of a positive result from game two. The Glads will be the favorites for the rematch, but the Swamp Rabbits should not be underestimated. As long as Coach Pyle’s men respect their opponent, Atalanta will take the win.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Sean Bonar: After the game, we don’t talk about (8-2 loss to Newfoundland) Bonar has bounced back in great form. He recorded a shutout win last week and only conceded one goal in two starts. He also replaced Michael Bitzer for two periods and kept his net empty. It’s safe to say he’s back to his best, definitely one to watch this week.

Zach Malatesta: The hard-hitting defenseman has been one of Atlanta’s unsung heroes this season. He scored a game-winner against Rapid City last week and has consistently been a key part of the Glads defensive core. He is very dangerous when he gets the opportunity to attack and deserves to be highlighted this week.

Derek Nesbitt: Mr. Gladiator returns to the lineup after missing out against Rapid City. He will be raring to go as the Glads are on fire offensively. He leads the Gladiators against the Icemen this season with eight points (3g, 5a) and should be on your radar 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 20 Preview

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( Photo Credit: gwinnettdailypost.com / Taylor Trebotte )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Gladiators franchise-record point streak ended last week, but the team has already laid the foundations for another unbeaten run. After a disappointing loss to the Newfoundland Growlers, Atlanta bounced back with comfortable wins against Greenville and South Carolina. This week, the Glads head to South Dakota for a three-game series against the Rapid City Rush.

There have been some significant departures from the Gladiator’s roster over the last week. Forward Brett McKenzie was recalled to Providence after an impressive rookie season in Atlanta. He leaves the Gladiators ranked second for points on the season with 34 (11g, 23a) and will be missed by the fans and his teammates. Defenseman Joel Messner was also recalled to Providence, and like McKenzie, will be a big loss for Atlanta. He was establishing himself as one of the most important players on the roster and had recently been made alternate captain. The Gladiators have resigned defenseman Brandon McMartin who did a feature for the team earlier in the season but has spent the majority of 2018-19 with the Knoxville Ice Bears of the SPHL. He has joined up with the squad and could feature against Rapid City this week.

This week’s opponents, the Rapid City Rush, are the second non-divisional opponents that the Glads will face this season. Atlanta will be hoping for much better results than the game against the Newfoundland Growlers. Both the Glads and the Rush are very close in the league standings, with 50 points each. The Rush have a 5-3-2 record in their last 10 games and will pose a physical threat to Atlanta, with almost twice as many penalty minutes on the season. Gladiators netminder, Michael Bitzer, could face his former team if he gets a start over Sean Bonar, and the Glads will be up against former forward, Darby Llewellyn, who has 16 points (5g, 11a) on the season for the Rush. It is difficult to predict who will come out on top as the teams have not faced each other yet, home advantage will help the Rush, but Atlanta will be hoping to improve their playoff chances with points on this road trip.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Daniel Leavens: The veteran forward has hit the ground running for Atlanta. He grabbed three points (2g, 1a) in three games for the Glads last week and is establishing himself as a key part of the offense. His experience will be very valuable on what will be a tricky road trip, he will want to lead by example. Keep an eye on him.

Michael Bitzer: The second-year goaltender has been waiting patiently for a run in the Atlanta team and he made a great impression last week, recording his first professional shutout in the game against Greenville. Facing his former team will give added motivation and makes him an intriguing player to watch this week.

Nick Bligh: The third-year forward has eight points in his last eight games and has scored some very important goals for the Glads already this season. He’s been one of the most important forwards in recent weeks and his contributions have gone slightly under the radar. An exciting player and definitely one to watch out for 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 18 Preview

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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 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 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 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 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 <–