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<—

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

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 10 Recap

( Photo Credit: orlandosentinel.com / Fernando Medina )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Providence Bruins 2018 Preseason Opening Weekend

Header Imager(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

By: Jen Stasio Coombe  |  Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

On Saturday,  the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence was the scene of the first preseason game of the 2018 exhibition schedule for the Providence Bruins. The visiting team was the Springfield Thunderbirds — a team that’s been a thorn in the Bruins’ side for many years being a cross-border rival. The night was as action-packed as any fan could have hoped for and certainly an indication of what’s to come when the 2018-19 AHL campaign kicks off on Oct. 5 on the road in Hartford against the WolfPack.

Starting up front for the Bruins were Karson Kuhlman, Anton Blidh, and Colby Cave.  At their backs were Jeremy Lauzon and Mark McNeill with Dan Vladar in net.  The first period got off to a bang with a power-play goal from Cameron Hughes after Springfield was called for holding.  Shortly after that tempers flared and the gloves came off. The first fight of the night was a quick but good one between Springfield’s Tony Turgeon and Providence’s David Broll.  Broll appeared to have the upper hand in the clash, but apparently, that took a toll on his actual hand — there’s no word on the status of his hand at this point.

Shortly after this tete-a-tete, McNeill came back to double the score on the board for Providence with an assist from Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson. Answering a goal with a fight was the story of the first period as Austin Fyten took on Springfield’s Juho Lammikko. It was a little more prolonged and involved in this one, without a doubt, saw Fyten living up to his name. The end of the first came with the Bruins still leading the T-Birds 2-0.

Perhaps a word or two was said in the locker room between the periods as the gloves did not come off the rest of the game. However, the roughhousing was far from over, including one hard takedown of Vladar well away from the net. The second period saw Zach Senyshyn find the back of the net for the Bruins, but it also saw the T-Birds come back with two goals. One of these goals was decidedly iffy as a T-Bird decided to carry on from the early sack of Vladar and perched himself upon the goalie’s shoulder. Vladar uncharacteristically displayed his frustration as he punched the glass on his way off to punctuate the end of the period.

Bonar(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

The third and final period of the night began with new goalies in each net. Providence’s net was manned by Sean Bonar, a PTO from the Atlanta Gladiators. Sean did his ginger brothers proud, keeping the net free from T-Bird pucks and giving the Bruins the win in their first preseason game of the year.

The two teams faced off again on Sunday, Sept. 30, this time in Springfield. Providence jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with goals by Fyten and Riley in the first before extending their lead to 3-0 with a goal by Sherman to end the second.  The T-Birds came out motivated in the third and fought back to within a goal but still fell 3-2 to the Bruins.

All told it was a solid preseason for Providence, going 2-0-0 against their first foes of the year. We will be looking forward to seeing them again next weekend.  Oct. 5 opens the regular season as the Bruins will be in Hartford playing the Wolf Pack. The team’s home opener will be Oct. 6 versus the Laval Rocket.