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Gladiators Agree to Terms with Buzzeo, Kessel

Tuesday, September 27th
Gladiators Agree to Terms with Buzzeo, Kessel

The Atlanta Gladiators have agreed to terms with forward Justin Buzzeo and defenseman Blake Kessel for 2016-2017, the team announced on Tuesday. Buzzeo, 26, returns for a second full season with the Gladiators after appearing in 63 games with Atlanta in 15-16. The Windsor, Ontario native tallied 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 total points over the course of last year, adding on to four points (1g, 3a) amassed in seven games with the Gladiators in 14-15. The 5-foot-11, 185 pound forward joined the organization following the completion of his collegiate career with Ferris State University. In 122 collegiate games played, Buzzeo notched 29 goals and 39 assists for 68 total points."It's a good feeling to enter the season with experience as a Gladiator," said Buzzeo. "I learned a lot last year, I've had a good summer, and I'm ready to get started. In Atlanta, when you come to the rink you want to be there. You want to come in and work because you know you're surrounded by people going above and beyond to make the team successful ."Drafted by the New York Islanders in the 6th Round (166th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Kessel joins the Gladiators from the Augsburg Panthers of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. The Madison, WI native joined the Panthers late in the 15-16 season, earning three assists in six games played. Prior to his time with Augsburg, the 6-foot-2, 210 pound blueliner tallied three goals and seven assists for 10 points in 41 games played with the Ilves Tampere of the Finnish Elite League. Kessel has also appeared in 77 career American Hockey League games, amassing three goals and 22 assists for a total 25 points."Blake brings a lot of experience at multiples levels to the team, so we expect him to be a leader for our group," said Gladiators Head Coach Andy Brandt. "He has great offensive ability and great poise in his game, attributes we expect to utilize in all situations, but especially the power play."The Atlanta Gladiators 14th season kicks off at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, October 14th against the Toledo Walleye at 7:35 PM. 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 nation’s premier "AA" hockey league. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Infinite Energy Arena, 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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