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Atlanta Falls 4-2 to Orlando

Friday, February 12th
Atlanta Falls 4-2 to Orlando

Atlanta was in Orlando Saturday for a second game in as many nights against the Solar Bears. After a scoreless first period, Orlando drew first blood 8:45 into the second period. Matt Rupert forced a turnover behind the Gladiator net and sent the puck out front to a wide-open Erik Bradford. The 21-year-old rookie slid the puck between the legs of the Atlanta goaltender Matt Ginn for his 5th goal of the season. It only took the Gladiators 16 seconds for a response when Derek Nesbitt broke a six-game goalless streak to tie the game at one. Ian Barteaux led Garry Nunn on a pass into the Orlando zone where Atlanta's leader in assists dropped the puck to the trailing Nesbitt. The Captain rifled a wrist shot of the far post and into the net for his team-leading 23rd of the season. Atlanta took their first lead of the game with a powerplay goal 11:16 into the middle frame. Thomas Frazee mirrored his powerplay goal from the night prior as a Nesbitt shot ricocheted into the goal past Solar Bear netminder Ryan Massa off of the second-year pro. Frazee's ninth goal of the season gave Nesbitt and Nunn, who earned the secondary assist, both multi-point nights. Orlando evened the score at two on a Rory Rawlyk tally early in period three. Rawlyk took a slap shot from the point with traffic in front that beat Ginn tying the game at two. Eric Faille and Eric Baier notched the assists on the play. Brenden Miller put the Solar Bears back in the lead with his first career goal 12:34 into the third. Miller found a seam up the left wing and sent a snap shot in past Ginn's blocker which put Orlando up 3-2. Jack Rodewald and Brady Vail received credit for the assists on the goal.The Solar Bears ended the Gladiators comeback attempt by putting in an empty net goal to make the final score 4-2. Atlanta with the loss fell to 26-18-3-2 for 57 points on the season remaining in 6th place in the Eastern Conference. Orlando improved to 21-19-2-4 and 48 points and jumped to 10th place in the East in the victory.

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