After falling in overtime on Tuesday night, the Gladiators returned to action on Thursday for a match-up with the Florida Everblades. The two teams faced off for their fifth match-up of the year at the Infinite Energy Arena.
Florida opened the game's scoring just :51 seconds into the contest. Mike Ferrantino stepped in to the face-off circle in his offensive zone and won the draw back to Curt Gogol at the point. The Nova Scotia native then ripped of a quick shot from the top of the circle that beat Atlanta goalie, Kent Patterson. The tally was the forward’s first goal of the year and put his team ahead 1-0.
The visitors would then double their lead just 3:24 into the game. Ferrantino received a pass near his offensive blue line and then split the Atlanta defenders before he sent a snap shot past the glove of Patterson. The rookie's second point of the game was assisted by Daniel New and Brant Harris.
Brendan O’Donnell would add to the Florida lead just over a minute later to put his team ahead 3-0. Michael Kirkpatrick took a shot from the slot that went through traffic before it bounced to the stick of O’Donnell. The former North Dakota University forward then poked the loose puck past Patterson for his 17th goal of the season. Kirkpatirck was credited with an assist after taking the original shot, while Harris also accounted for his second point of the night on the play,
The Everblades increased their first period lead to 4-0 with a power play strike 17:44 into the opening stanza. Zack Kamrass brought the puck into the zone for his team and sent a pass down the boards to O’Donnell. The Winnipeg native then deked around a Gladiator defender and took a shot that was blocked, only to land on the blade of Ferrantino in front. The Michigan State University product then made no mistake as he slammed the puck in for his second goal, and third point, of the game.
Atlanta would finally get on the board 2:41 into the second. Trevor Mingoia was credited with his eighth goal of the year after he tipped a shot in from the point. The tally was assisted by Justin Buzzeo and Dalton Reum and cut the Florida lead to 4-1.
The Gladiators then slimmed the Florida lead to only 4-2 with a 4-on-3 power play goal 4:20 into the third period. Cason Hohmann fired a shot from the slot that knocked off the glove of the Everblades goalie, Alex Nedeljkovic, and then trickled in behind him for the score. The point was the Texas native’s sixth point with Atlanta in just five games, and was assisted by Thomas Frazee.
Despite the fact that they outscored their opponent in the final two periods, the Gladiators could not overcome their early deficit and as a result as they fell on home ice. Logan Roe added a late empty net goal sealing the 5-2 victory for the visiting Everblades. The loss kept Atlanta in fifth in the South Division with a record of 12-14-4-1 and 29 points. The Everblades maintained their spot in first in the South Division with a record of 19-6-1-2 and 41 points after the triumph on the road.