The Gladiators squared off against their division rival, the Solar Bears Friday night in Orlando. Goaltender Kent Patterson turned in a solid performance and the Glads picked up a point in the standings as the game crossed over into an overtime session, but a shootout was needed to determine the winner and Atlanta fell to Orlando 2-1.
Thomas Frazee kicked started the scoring in matchup number five of six between the two south division rivals. While on Atlanta’s first powerplay of the contest, Garry Nunn slid the puck to Matt Register at the point where the Calgary, AB native blasted a one-time shot on goal. Orlando’s starting goalie, Ryan Massa, made the save on Register’s shot but Frazee was there in the crease to knock in the rebound that gave Atlanta the 1-0 lead. Frazee’s tally marked his eighth of the season and earned Nunn and Register assists 29 and 19 respectfully.
Orlando scored the lone goal of the middle period and tied the score at one on a Matt Rupert notch 4:52 into the frame. Erik Bradford and Rory Rawlyk teamed up to get the puck into the Atlanta zone. Rupert won the race to the loose puck and scooped it over the shoulder of Gladiators goalie Kent Patterson on the partial breakaway for his 10th goal of the season.
After a scoreless third period and overtime the game still did not have a winner which shifted the contest to the three-man shootout. Both goaltenders stopped the first three shooters which send the game to sudden death. After Justin Buzzeo was rejected by Massa, Jonny McInnis wristed home the game winner past Paterson and gave the Solar Bears the shootout victory.
The Gladiators still received a point in the standings after getting the game to extra time improving their season total to 57 on the season. Orlando advanced to 46 points with the two points in their 20th victory of the season.