Facing Toledo for the 2nd night in as many days, the Gladiators hoped to earn another two points over the Walleye, but fell 7-4.
Atlanta scored the first goal of the contest for the second night in a row. Thomas Frazee received a centering pass from Brock Higgs and placed the puck into the top corner of the net. Blake Kessel picked up his second assist in as many nights on the play as he took the initial shot from the point.
Toledo equalized the score at one at the 12:49 mark on a Kyle Bonis notch. Alden Hirschfeld found Bonis alone in the slot, where he riffled a wrist shot past Gladiators goalie, Matt Ginn. Both players earned their second points of the season after teaming up for the lone tally for the Walleye the night prior.
It did not take long for Toledo to gain their first lead of the season as they went up 2-1 just 22 seconds after their first marker. A.J. Jenks collected his first goal of the year when the puck went in off his skate. Evan Rankin, who sent the puck in front from the wing, got the first assist with Simon Denis getting the secondary helper.
Atlanta erased the Walleye advantage on a Brock Higgs score at the 16:10 mark of the opening period. Jake Bolton propelled a slap shot from the point that deflected right to the Kingston, ON native who sent a wrist shot in past Walleye goalie, Cal Heeter. Blake Kessel also registered his third assist of the season and second point of the night on the goal.
Toledo scored the fifth goal of the period with just 44 seconds left to re-gain the lead. Tyler Sikura saw the puck bank in off his leg after a Rankin shot from out of the corner. The goal gave the Dartmouth product his first of the year and gave Rankin his second assist and point of the game. Tylor Spink also recorded a helper on the play.
Rankin got his third point of the night early in the second period on his first goal of the season. Jenks and Zajac teamed up to get the puck to Rankin in the slot giving them the assists on Toledo’s all-time leaders’ 85th goal with the Walleye. The tally came at the 1:52 mark of the second and gave the Walleye the 4-2 lead.
Bonis collected his second of the game 6:18 into the middle period and increased the Walleye lead to three. Sikura also notched his second point helping the Lindsay, ON native score the shorthanded goal.
Atlanta cut the lead back to two on a tally from Trevor Mingoia. Justin Buzzeo earned his second point of the year when he found the Providence College product on the backdoor for his first career pro goal. The mark was officially a power play goal, the first man-advantage score of the campaign for the Gladiators.
Jenks added another for Toledo, his second of the game 12:31 into the second. Bonis registered his third point with the primary assist. Shane Berschbach also collected a helper, his first point of the year.
Atlanta pulled the goalie with just over five minutes left in the game to try to spark the comeback. Colin Jacobs took advantage and scored on the 6-on-4 for his second of the season. Tyler Shiplo whistled a slap shot from the point that ricocheted right to a wide-open Jacobs who put the Walleye lead back to two. Buzzeo earned a multi-point night as he got the secondary assist.
Toledo would add an empty net goal from Bonis that gave him the Hat Trick and the Walleye their seventh goal of the evening. The Walleye would hold on for the 7-4 win that gave them their first win of the year in two tries. Atlanta fell to 1-1 and remain at two points on the campaign.