Despite goals from Nate Condon, Thomas Frazee, Mitchell Dempsey and Max Everson, the Atlanta Gladiators dropped their final preseason game 5-4 to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits Sunday evening at the Duluth Ice Forum. Greenville opened up the scoring 4:23 into the game on a Paul Rodrigues goal. The Swamp Rabbits forward intercepted an Atlanta clearing attempt and rifled the puck over the glove of Gladiators starting goaltender Kent Patterson. The goal was Rodrigues second of the preseason and third total point thus far. The Swamp Rabbit lead grew to 2-0 as Nikita Kashirsky put a shot in off the glove of Patterson from the slot from a feed from Davis Vandane. The late score came with :55 seconds left in the first, and was the first goal of the preseason for Kashirsky. The teams headed to the locker rooms with Greenville leading 2-0. After a goaltender change for the Swamp Rabbits, Atlanta cut the lead in half just past the midway point of period two. Nate Condon collected a long pass in the neutral zone from Kyle Gibbons and dashed in all alone on a breakaway. The Wisconsin native propelled the puck under the blocker of Swamp Rabbit netminder Braely Torris for the Gladiators first goal of the evening and his second of the preseason. With the game now at a 2-1 Swamp Rabbit advantage, Mitchell Dempsey tied the contest at the 17:37 mark of the middle period. Garry Nunn dashed into the zone maneuvering through the Greenville defense before dishing it across the crease to a waiting Dempsey. The 6-foot-4, 207-pound forward tapped the puck into the goal for his first of the preseason. Thomas Frazee also got an assist on the second Gladiator marker. Greenville would get their lead back just over a minute later. Emerson Clark buried home his first of the preseason after a scramble in the crease to give the Swamp Rabbits the 3-2 lead. Vandane received credit for the lone assist, which gave him his second point of the game. Frazee joined in on the scoring 4:10 into the third with a powerplay tally. Joe Stejskal and Derek Nesbitt started the play as they got the puck to the net which allowed Frazee put it in on a rebound. On the game-tying goal, Frazee registered his second point of the night. Greenville responded quickly again to tie the game on a Rob Kwiet goal. The defender chipped the puck around two Atlanta skaters then ripped it past Patterson through a barrage of bodies. Atlanta would go on to tie the game for the third time when Rookie Max Everson produced the second powerplay goal of the contest for the Gladiators. The Harvard University product picked-off a Swamp Rabbit pass in the high point and wired his first of the preseason over the blocker of the Torris. Vandane collected his third point and first goal of the contest that gave the Swamp Rabbits the advantage again with 3:01 remaining on the clock. Kashirsky added an assist to his earlier goal giving him a multi-point night as well. The goal would go on to be the game-winner as Greenville held on for the 5-4 victory even with a furious equalizing attempt by the Gladiators. The teams went on to play a practice five-minute 3-on-3 overtime, per the new ECHL overtime rules. Just like the night before in South Carolina, both teams would combine to produce a scoreless OT practice round. With the loss, the Gladiators finished the preseason 1-1. Atlanta earned a 4-0 over win over South Carolina and a 5-4 loss to Greenville and are now set to begin the regular season as they start the campaign on the road with back-to-back games in Estero, FL against the Florida Everblades on Friday October, 16th and Saturday October, 17th. The Atlanta Gladiators are set to drop the puck on their 13th season at The Arena at Infinite Energy Center in October 2015. For ticket information, visit the official team website at www.atlantagladiators.com or call the main office line at 770-497-5100.The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nations premier AA hockey league. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Arena at Infinite Energy Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth where parking is always free. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for affordable and family-friendly sports entertainment and consistently ranked as one of the top Things To Do in the Atlanta area and across the North Georgia region.For all the latest team news, contests, and more visit AtlantaGladiators.com, or like the Gladiators on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AtlantaGladiators), follow the team on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ATLGladiators), Instagram (www.instagram.com/atlgladiators) or Snapchat (www.snapchat.com) at gladshockey . -###-
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