Three nights prior, the Florida Everblades took a close 2-1 decision over the Gladiators at the Infinite Energy Arena. On this evening, Atlanta looked for revenge against their South Division rival in the second of 13 contests against each other this season.
Florida notched the game's first goal for the second straight game in Atlanta 3:53 into the first. Matt Berry blasted a slap shot from the right wing circle that beat Atlanta gaolie, Matt Ginn. John McCarron and Atlanta native Zach Kamrass received credit for the assists on the Canton, MI native's 4th goal of the season.
The Everblades increased their lead to 2-0 when Peter Schneider scored his first goal of the season. The Austria native knocked in a rebound after a Corey Syvret shot from the point that was stopped by Ginn. Josh Wesley registered the secondary helper on the play.
Atlanta cut the Florida lead in half with a power play goal. Justin Buzzeo collected his seventh point in his last five games scoring on a one-time shot from the right wing circle. Ben Marshall, who navigated a cross-rink pass through traffic got the primary assist as Eric Neiley picked up a helper as well.
Florida matched the man-advantage goal scored by the Gladiators just 39 seconds later. Brandt Harris took a shot from a bad angle that snuck under the pad of Ginn for the third-year pro's second goal of the season. Michael Kirkpatrick and Matt Mackenzie both earned points in back-to-back games against Atlanta tallying the assists.
Everblades forward, McCarron made it 4-1 Florida in the first period with his second point of the contest, and fifth goal of the year. An original shot came from Berry that was stopped by new Gladiators goalie Jay Williams who came into the game in relief of Ginn. The Macomb, MI potted the rebound into the goal and gave Florida the three-goa lead as the team's went to the first intermission.
Atlanta started the climb back into the game 13:22 into the second frame. Alpharetta, GA native Drew Baker deflected the puck past Anthony Peters, the Everblades starting goalie. Derek Nesbitt took the shot from the point after a pass from Trevor Mingoia which gave both of the forwards the assists on the goal.
The Gladiators got back to within one goal after Buzzeo scored his second mark of the game. Josh Atkinson sent a shot through traffic that was stopped by Peters. Neiley collected the rebound and found the second-year pro Buzzeo and he wired a shot into the top-shelf of the goal.
Mackenzie halted the Gladiators comeback parade with his second goal of the season. The former third round pick of the Buffalo Sabres beat Williams on a wrist shot from the high slot. Dalton Smith and Mike Aviani picked up the assists on the second point of the evening for Mackenzie.
The Everblades added one more before the end of the second. Brendan O'Donnell Scored on the rebound of a Wesley shot. Kirkpatrick collected his second point of the evening with the other helper.
Atlanta started the comeback once again as Blake Kessel got the first goal of the third period at the 7:49 mark. Mingoia powered the puck to the front of the net from behind the goal. Thomas Frazee had his shot stopped but Kessel was there to score his second of the seaosn on the third chance.
The Gladiators cut the lead back to just one when Atkinson scored his first professional goal. Shane Bakker and A.J. White worked the puck from behind the goal and found rookie out of Alaska-Faribanks wide-open out front. Atkinson then snapped a wrist shot past Peters and made it a 6-5 game late in the third period.
After a furious final two minutes of Atlanta chances, Florida was able to hold on and earn the 6-5 road win. Completeing the two-game sweep of the Glafiators, Florida remained unbeaten in regulation and is now 8-0-1-0 with 17 points. Atlanta fell to 5-6-1-1 with the loss and remain at 12 points.