Atlanta returned to home ice on Friday night after taking both games of a two game trip down in Orlando. The Gladiators, coming off their best offensive game of the young season, welcomed the Elmira Jackals to the Infinite Energy Arena for the teams’ only matchup of the year.Justin Buzzeo put the Gladiators on the score sheet first for a league-leading eighth time this season, just 6:15 into the competition. The product of Ferris State University was the recipient of a crisp pass from Brock Higgs on a two-on-one and was then able to stick handle his way past the Elmira goaltnder, Andy Iles, for his second of the year. Higgs added his team leading ninth assist on the play, while Eric Neiley tallied his fourth helper after feeding the puck to Higgs.Atlanta would then double their lead, and make the score 2-0 on Neiley’s fifth of the year. The Warminster, PA native floated his way behind the defensemen and snuck to the backdoor where he knocked a rebound to himself for the easy tap in 8:03 into the second. Higgs and Buzzeo both notched their second points of the night with an assist on the goal.A blistering one-timer off the blade of Derek Nesbitt gave the Gladiators a 3-0 lead with 3:53 left in the middle frame. The Atlanta Captain received a pass from Ben Marshall in the right wing circle and sent a quick shot right over the blocker of the former Gladiator, Iles for the power play notch. Blake Kessel picked up his third assist in the past two games on Nesbitt’s sixth of the year.Backed by a shutout performance from goaltender Matt Ginn, the Gladiators were able to hold their lead and win their third straight contest. The victory on home ice gives Atlanta a record of 5-3-1-1 with 12 points, keeping them in first place in the South division. Meanwhile, Elmira dropped to 2-5-1-0 with the loss on Friday, placing them in last in the North division with only 5 points.
Ginn Backstops Glads to 3-0 Victory
Friday, November 4th
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