Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 23 Recap

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators secured five points from three games in a what proved to be a good week for the Duluth based team. With 10 games remaining, the Glads are now level on points with the South Carolina Stingrays for the final playoff spot. Every game is crucial, and the Gladiators are rising to the challenge.

The South Carolina Stingrays were Atlanta’s first opponent of the week. After an impressive run of games, the Glads started Sean Bonar in net. With both teams fighting for the final playoff spot, the pressure was intense. South Carolina scored first, Mason Mitchell put the visitors ahead with the only goal of the first period. Midway through the second, the Stingrays doubled their lead after Jordan Samuel-Thomas beat Bonar. Four minutes later, the ‘Rays were three goals ahead, after Mitchell snagged his second goal of the night. Atlanta responded immediately, forward Brett McKenzie pulled one back for the hosts, assisted by Zach Malatesta. 3-1 the score after two.

Despite out-shooting South Carolina in the first two periods, the Gladiators had a lot of work to do in the third. It took five minutes for Matt Lane to get Atlanta within one, he was assisted by Zach Malatesta and Nolan LaPorte. Atlanta continued to pressure the Stingrays, and it finally paid off. Nick Bligh scored to tie the game at 3-3, Derek Nesbitt and Olivier Galipeau combined for the assists. The game went into overtime, and after a tense five minutes, the score remained tied. Both teams had to prepare for a shootout. Andrew Cherniwchan scored for the Stingrays, and Brett McKenzie found the net for Atlanta to make it 1-1 after three attempts each. After a series of misses from both teams, Alex Overhardt scored in the 11th round of the shootout before a save from Bonar secured a stunning comeback win for the Gladiators.

Game two saw the Florida Everblades come to town for the final time in the regular season. Following his heroics in the shootout, Atlanta stuck with Bonar as the starting goaltender. He was tested early by a Florida power play, but the Glads stood firm. The home team took the lead midway through the first period, with a goal from Nolan LaPorte, Matt Lane, and Zach Malatesta was credited with the helpers. The Gladiators held onto their one-goal lead until the second period, when Shane Walsh leveled for Florida. Neither team could find a second goal, even after overtime, so for the second game in a row, a shootout would determine the winner. Blake Winiecki beat Bonar to win the game for Florida, but the Glads came away with a crucial point.

The Glads took on the Norfolk Admirals for the third and final game of the week. After a string of good performances, Bonar started again. The game remained scoreless until the second period when LaPorte put the Glads ahead with an assist from John Furgele. Norfolk leveled the score with a power-play goal from Domenic Alberga, ending the second period 1-1. Both teams had chances to take the lead in the third, but it was Atlanta that pulled ahead. Nick Bligh scored the game-winning goal, assisted by Derek Nesbitt. 2-1 the final score, capping off a solid week for the Gladiators.

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 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 20 Recap

( Photo Credit: Richard Anderson / rapidcityjournal.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Gladiators return from their road trip to South Dakota triumphant. After winning two of the three games against the Rapid City Rush, Atlanta has closed the gap on the South Carolina Stingrays to just one point. Despite losing some key players to Providence before the road trip, the Glads stuck together and will be pleased with their four-point haul.

Sean Bonar was given the start between the pipes for game one, hoping to bounce back from a slight dip in form the previous week. Atlanta took an early lead with a goal from Nick Bligh, assisted by Joe Widmar and Avery Peterson. The Glads looked comfortable in the first period, but the Rush improved in the second. Eventually, the home team leveled the score with a tally from Justin Faryna. A win was on the cards for both teams heading into the final period, and after a flurry of chances, defenseman Zach Malatesta stepped up and scored the game-winner for Atlanta. He was assisted by Joe Widmar and Luke Stork. 2-1 the final score.

After making 23 saves from 24 shots in game one, Atlanta stuck with Sean Bonar as the starter for round two. The Glads controlled the opening frame and eventually took the lead with a power-play goal from Nolan LaPorte, assisted by Daniel Leavens and Olivier Galipeau. Rapid City’s discipline continued to cause them problems in the second period. Atlanta doubled the lead with a second power-play goal, this time it was Justin MacDonald with the score, assisted by Nick Bligh and Avery Peterson. The home side gave up a third power-play goal just moments later, as Alex Overhardt slotted home with helpers from Olivier Galipeau and Nolan LaPorte. The Rush had a mountain to climb in the third period. After throwing everything at Atlanta, they couldn’t beat Sean Bonar. Justin MacDonald wrapped up the shutout win with an empty-netter in the closing stages. 4-0 the final score. It was Coach Pyle’s 500th win as an ECHL coach, he became the second person in league history to achieve the milestone.

Michael Bitzer was given the start against his former team for the third and final game of the week, but it was a difficult night for the second-year netminder. It was the Rush who scored first with Zach Fischer getting on the board midway through the first period. Moments later, former Gladiator Darby Llewellyn found the net to double Rapid City’s lead, before Zach Fischer scored his second of the night on the power play, making the score 3-0. This prompted the Glads to pull Bitzer in favor of Bonar with just under a minute remaining in the first frame.

Atlanta had a lot of work to do heading into the second period and scored quickly after Nick Bligh was set up by Filip Pyrochta and Joe Widmar. Despite heavily out-shooting Rapid City, the Glads could not add to their tally in what proved to be a very frustrating period. Atlanta continued to put pressure on the home team during the third period, and eventually found a second goal, Matt Lane the scorer, assisted by Pyrochta and Malatesta. As the clock ticked down, the Glads looked certain to level the score before Cedric Montminy tucked home an empty-netter for the hosts, ending the game 4-2 to the Rush. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Atlanta, who out-shot Rapid City 40-17.

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 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 19 Recap

( Photo Credit: gwinnettdailypost.com / Taylor Trebotte )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators franchise-record win streak came to an end on a valentines day, following a humbling defeat at the hands of the Newfoundland Growlers. The result was quickly forgotten, and the Glads began a new streak with victories over Greenville and South Carolina to complete a thrilling weekend of hockey.

Atlanta’s game against the Newfoundland Growlers was postponed by a day due to bad weather, but that didn’t slow the visitors down. They took the lead in the seventh minute with a goal from Giorgio Estephan. Eight seconds later, the Growlers doubled their lead with a goal from Brady Ferguson. The Gladiators struggled to establish themselves, and just after the 10-minute mark, they were three goals down, after J.J. Piccinich beat Sean Bonar in the Atlanta net. Less than a minute later Josh Kestner made the score 4-0, the first intermission could not come soon enough for the Gladiators.

The Growlers dominance continued into the second period, they peppered Atlanta’s net with shots before James Melindy made the score 5-0, prompting the Glads to replace Sean Bonar with Michael Bitzer. The change did not slow down Newfoundland, as Brady Ferguson scored his second of the night. After giving the visitors a six-goal head start, the Glads finally got on the board with a goal from Daniel Leavens. His effort was canceled out a minute later when Giorgio Estephan bagged his second goal, making the score 7-1 after two periods. The Growlers showed no mercy in the third period, the Glads managed to keep the puck out of their net for seven minutes before Derian Plouffe scored. Matt Lane scored for Atlanta to make the score 8-2, but it was a disappointing night for the home team.

After their worst defeat of the season, the Glads hosted the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Jeff Pyle’s men were determined to get back to winning ways. Following the previous night’s blowout, Michael Bitzer was given the start between the pipes over Sean Bonar. After a scoreless first period, Joe Widmar put Atlanta ahead halfway through the second. Joel Messner doubled the Glads lead moments later, and the home team looked comfortable heading into the second intermission. Daniel Leavens finished off the Swamp Rabbits early in the third, the visitors were unable to trouble Bitzer, who recorded his first professional shutout. 3-0 the final score.

The Glads wrapped up week 19 with a visit to South Carolina to take on the Stingrays. It was Derek Nesbitt’s 900th professional game, another milestone for the veteran forward. Justin MacDonald gave Atlanta an early lead before Grant Besse leveled for the ‘Rays. Neither side could score during the second period, despite both having chances. The Stingrays snatched the lead with less than 10 minutes to go, with a goal from Mike Chen. Despite going a goal down late on, the Glads kept their cool and managed to tie the game with a goal from Filip Pyrochta. Moments later, Nick Bligh put Atlanta ahead with a power-play goal before Joel Messner sealed the win with an empty netter. The Gladiators were fully deserving of the 4-2 win.

The results leave Atlanta fifth in the South Division, three points clear of the Norfolk Admirals and just five points behind the South Carolina Stingrays and a playoff spot. The Gladiators will head to South Dakota for week 20 and play three games against the Rapid City Rush. They still have a lot of work to do, but the Glads will be determined to reach the playoffs.

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

( 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 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 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!

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Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 12 Preview

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

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

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

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

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

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

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

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

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

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

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

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