Unable to stop the home team’s push in the third period, Atlanta allowed three goals in the final frame as the Gladiators fell to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits by a score of 4-1 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Thursday night.
Greenville would open the game’s scoring 12:29 into the first period. Evan Jasper received a pass from Ahti Oksanen and skated into the Gladiators zone on a breakaway. The former Sacred Heart University captain then did a quick forehand/backhand move and put a shot past Atlanta goalie, Matt Ginn, for his first career goal.
Atlanta would then bring the game back even just :50 seconds of playing time later. Mark Naclerio corralled the puck in the right circle and skated towards the net, where he completed a spin-o-rama move around the home goaltender, Jeff Malcolm, and tucked the puck into the open frame for his eight goal of the season. Ben Marshall tallied the only assist on the goal that knotted the game at 1-1.
After neither team was able to score in the middle frame, the Swamp Rabbits regained their lead 6:05 into the third period. Matt Prapavessis controlled the puck at the point and found Tommy Thompson open near the net. The rookie was then denied on an opportunity by Ginn, however, the rebound was left in front where Tristian King took the puck and netted his 12th goal of the year on the backhand to put Greenville ahead 2-1.
The home team then struck at the 12:01 mark of the third to double their lead, and make the score 3-1. Garrett Noonan brought the puck into the Greenville offensive zone on a three-on-two and set-up a pass directly to the blade of King, who wristed a shot past Ginn for his second goal of the game.
Brandon Alderson added an empty-net goal for the Swamp Rabbits with :03.5 seconds remaining to seal the 4-1 victory. The loss dropped Atlanta to 24-34-6-2 on the year, and kept the Gladiators in sixth in the South Division with 56 points. Meanwhile, Greenville improved their record to 38-25-4-1 with the win on home ice and remained in second in the division with 81 points.