The Atlanta Gladiators announced today that they have agreed to terms with goaltenders Steve Racine and Jay Williams. In addition, the Providence Bruins have recalled goaltender Matt Ginn and returned forward Shane Bakker to Atlanta.
Racine, 25, enters his rookie campaign after a stellar four year NCAA career at the University of Michigan. The Williamsville, NY product was the starting goaltender all four seasons with the Wolverines and maintained a goals-against average of less than 3.00 every season. During his senior year in 2015-16, Racine set a career high with a .914 save percentage while leading Michigan to the Big Ten Championship and being nominated for the Mike Richter Award, given annually to the best collegiate goalie in the nation.
Williams, 23, also enters his first year of professional hockey after a stand-out collegiate career. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound netminder comes to Atlanta after he completed a four year stint at Miami (Ohio) University. The Fairfax, VA native posted his best numbers his freshman season with a goals-against average of 1.94 and save percentage of .924. Williams averaged under three goals a game during his tenure with the Red Hawks, backstopping them to the 2014-15 NCHC Championship
Bakker, 28, will make his Gladiators debut on Thursday, October 27th. Acquired via trade from the Wheeling Nailers on September 30th, the 6-foot-4, 209-pound forward began the season with the P-Bruins after earning a try-out contract during their training camp. Bakker appeared in two games with Providence, earning six penalty minutes. The Ottawa, ON native collected 14 points in 26 playoff games last season as he helped the Nailers reach the Kelly Cup Finals. Over the course of his career, the centerman has amassed 412 penalty minutes in 187 professional games played.
In a separate transaction, Atlanta released forward Brad Navin from his standard professional contract
The Atlanta Gladiators 14th season continues at the Infinite Energy Arena on Thursday, October 27th against the Wichita Thunder at 10:05 AM. 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". -###-Photo: University of Michigan / mgoblue.com