The Atlanta Gladiators received goals from Tyler Shiplo, Nate Condon, Brock Higgs and Daniel Bahntge as well as an 18 save shutout from Garrett Bartus en route to a 4-0 win over the South Carolina Stingrays Saturday night at the Ice Palace. Atlanta opened the scoring on a powerplay tally from defenseman Tyler Shiplo. The product of Mercyhurst University put in a one-timer shot off a cross-rink pass from Mike Merrifield. Ian Barteaux was the third member of the tick-tack-toe passing play that gave the Gladiators the lead and lone goal of the opening frame at the 13:50 mark. The Gladiators doubled their advantage early in the second period on a goal from former Stingray Brock Higgs. J.T. Barnett made a pass that sprung the Kingston, ON native in on a breakaway who slid the puck between the legs of South Carolina goalie Vitek Vanecek. Higgs first of the preseason came at the 2:30 mark of the period. Nate Condon increased the Gladiator lead to 3-0 with a powerplay goal at 12:07 of the middle period. The former Minnesota Golden Gopher fired the puck into the top corner of the net from the low slot as he received a cross-ice pass from Georgia native, Drew Baker. The first preseason goal for Condon was the second powerplay notch for the Gladiators on the evening. Daniel Bahntge added a third of the period and fourth of the game for Atlanta with :57 seconds left in the second. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound forward tapped home a rebound from the top of the crease on a delayed penalty stemming from a point shot from Baker. The assist on the play gave Baker his second point of the game for the veteran defenseman. Higgs received credit for the secondary assist, his second point of the night on the goal that sent the teams to the second intermission with the Gladiators leading 4-0. The third period came and went with no goals by either side, which gave the Gladiators the 4-0 victory in their first of two preseason games. Both teams remained on the ice and played a 3-on-3 overtime session as mandated by the ECHL to practice for the leagues new overtime rules. After a fast-paced five minutes, both teams failed to score ending the night with a 4-0 Gladiators victory and a tied overtime practice. The Gladiators are back in action for their second and final preseason game tomorrow evening at the Duluth Ice Forum against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 5:00 PM. While there is no reserved seating for the game, fans who wish to attend may purchase a general admission ticket at the door for a minimum donation of $5 per seat, the proceeds from which are to be donated to local youth hockey. 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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