Having played the last three games on the road, Atlanta returned home for their last tilt before the Christmas holiday. The Gladiators welcomed the Greenville Swamp Rabbits to the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday night for the two teams’ third matchup of the year.
After the opening frame passed without anyone finding the back of the goal, Brandon Alderson broke the deadlock 6:56 into the second period. The fourth year pro blasted a slap shot from the point that beamed through traffic in front and found the net untouched. Alderson’s eighth goal of the year came on the power play and was assisted by Joe Houk and Trevor Gerling, and made the score 1-0 in favor of Greenville.
The Swamp Rabbits doubled their lead to 2-0, 7:44 into the final stanza. After he picked up the puck in the neutral zone, Angelo Miceli skated into his offensive end and threw a pass over to Alderson. The Ontario native then blasted a one-timer that once again found the back of the net. The forward's second of the night was his ninth of the year.
Just under three minutes later, Atlanta cut the score to 2-1. Dalton Reum tallied his first goal of the season after he whipped a shot from the point that directed off the post and in. Bryan Cameron was credited with the assist on the play after his original shot ricocheted off the post and up the boards to Reum.
Atlanta then tied the game at two with only 1:35 remaining in regulation as Shane Bakker slapped in a rebound past Jeff Malcolm, the Greenville netminder. Derek Nesbitt and Ben Marshall created the play by speeding up ice on a shorthanded rush. Marshall notched the primary assist after his original shot rang off the bar while Nesbitt managed the second helper on the late game-tying tally.
With the teams in a 4-on-4 situation, Cason Hohmann won a face-off right to Tyler Shiplo in the high slot. The Mercyhurst product lasered a wrister past Malcom's glove to give Atlanta the 3-2 lead with just :35 seconds remaining. With the lone helper, Hohmann now has collected a point in all of his first three games with the Gladiators.
Backed by a strong third period comeback, Atlanta held on and won their second in a row on Friday night by a score of 3-2. The win jumped the Gladiators to fourth in the ECHL's South Division with a record of 12-13-3-1 and 28 points. Meanwhile, after they let their late lead slip, Greenville dropped to 15-11-2-0 with the loss. This placed them in third in the division with 32 points on the year.