The Atlanta Gladiators and Florida Everblades renewed their rivalry on Saturday evening for the second game in as many nights at Germain Arena. After a crazy 8-7 overtime decision the night prior, the Gladiators were in search of revenge on the road in their last contest of a three game road trip.
The Everblades commenced the scoring just like the pervious night to take the 1-0 lead 7:41 into the opening frame. Florida's leader in goals increased his total to 14 on the year when Brenden O'Donnell blew a wrist shot past Atlanta goalie, Kent Patterson from the high slot. Matt Berry and John McCarron earned the assists on the play finding the second year pro open in front.
Atlanta evened the score with the first goal of the second period 3:41 into the middle frame. Eric Neiley moved himself into a tie for second overall in goals in the ECHL with his 17th tally of the season. Brock Higgs found Ben Marshall at the point who took a quick shot towards the goal. Neiley, standing in front of the net redirected the puck in past Everblade goalie, Anthony Peters to tie the game at one with the power play strike.
The Gladiators obtained their first lead of the evening with another power play notch at the 10:18 mark of the second period. Cason Hohmann and Trevor Mingoia worked the puck around the Florida zone before finding Derek Nesbitt standing at the point. The Seaforth, ON native took a quick snap shot from the blue line that hit off the stick of Florida defender, Daniel New, up over the head of Peters and into the goal. The 15th goal of the season for Nesbitt made the score 2-1 in favor of the road side.
The game would shift to the third period and Atlanta collected an insurance tally 7:45 into the final stanza. Neiley deflected a shot from former Everblade, Corey Syvret, in past Peters' left arm. Neiley's 18th of the season and second of the night was also assisted by Higgs, giving him a multi-point game as well.
The Everblades capitalized on a 6-on-4 advantage with their goalie pulled with 1:20 left in the game. O'Donnell earned his second point of the contest slipping a pass to McCarron atop the Atlanta crease. After the first shot was refuted by Patterson, McCarron slammed the rebound into the goal to make the score 3-2 late in the game.
Florida engineered a flurry of shots in the final moments but Patterson held down the fort, sealing the 3-2 victory for the Gladiators with a 41 save performance. Atlanta finally managed their 11th win of the season that had eluded them their last five games and improved to 26 points on the year pulling them into a tie for fourth in the ECHL's South Division. The Everblades remained on top of the South Division with 35 points even in the loss that dropped their record to 16-5-1-2.