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Four Added to Gladiators Roster from AHL

Monday, October 2nd
Four Added to Gladiators Roster from AHL

The Atlanta Gladiators announced Tuesday that forwards Chase Witala, Phil Lane, Alex Gacek and defenseman Zach Malatesta have been released from their try-outs with the Providence Bruins of the AHL and will report to Atlanta.

Witala, 22, joins the Gladiators coming off a contract with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies last season. The Price George, BC native spent the 2016-17 campaign in the ECHL for the Orlando Solar Bears where he notched 19 points (7-12-19) in 46 games. The 6-foot, 174-pound forward collected two assists in three AHL games for Toronto at the end of the 2015-16 season. Prior to commencing his pro career, Witala recorded 239 points (120-119-239) in 302 games in the Western Hockey League over five seasons for his hometown Prince George Cougars. The 120 goals scored by Witala as a Cougar stands as the most all-time in franchise history. The Major Junior standout set career highs with 40 goals and 79 points in 71 games in his final WHL season, while serving as the team’s alternate captain.

Lane, 25, has spent most of his career in the AHL before collecting 16 points (10-6-16) with a plus-eight rating during an injury plagued 2016-17 campaign with the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL. The former 2nd Round pick (181st overall) of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft skated his first four professional seasons in the AHL for the Portland Pirates and Springfield Falcons. In 218 AHL contests, the 6-foot-2, 203-pound forward amassed 48 points (26-22-48). His best season came during his rookie year in 2012-13 when the Rochester, NY native registered 22 points (14-8-22) and a plus-10 rating in 70 games played. Prior to the start of his professional career, Lane notched 107 points (50-57-107) in 171 games over three seasons in the OHL for the Brampton Battalion, where he also served as the team’s alternate captain his final year of 2011-12.

Gacek, 24, joined the Gladiators from the Orlando Solar Bears in March in exchange for forward Justin Buzzeo. In 16 games played with Atlanta, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound forward tallied 11 total points (4-7-11). Prior to his time with the Glads, the Dracut, Massachusetts native appeared in 19 games with the South Carolina Stingrays (8-4-12) and 26 games with Orlando (14-15-29) for a combined 26 goals and 26 assists for 52 total points during his rookie season.

Malatesta, 21, is set for his rookie season in professional hockey after he spent the last three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The 5-foot-9, 183-pound D-man posted 92 points (25-67-92) and a plus-18 rating in 191 games with the Moncton Wildcats and Acadie-Bathurst Titan. In his final year of major junior hockey, the Boston, MA native started the season in Moncton earning eight points (3-5-8) before being dealt near the trade deadline to Acadie-Bathurst. Malatesta then produced the best numbers of his career ending the campaign with 28 points (8-20-28) and a plus-27 rating in 33 games. The defender added eight points (1-7-8) in 11 playoff games for the Titan.

All four skaters are en route to Atlanta and will join the team for the remainder of training camp either Wednesday or Thursday.

The Atlanta Gladiators 15th anniversary season kicks off at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, October 20th against the Florida Everblades at 7:35 PM. For ticket package information, visit the official team website at www.atlantagladiators.com or call the main office line at 770-497-5100.

The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth – where parking is always free. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for affordable and family-friendly sports entertainment and consistently ranked as one of the top “Things To Do” in the Atlanta area and across the North Georgia region.

For all the latest team news, contests, and more visit AtlantaGladiators.com, or “like” the Gladiators on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AtlantaGladiators), follow the team on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ATLGladiators), Instagram (www.instagram.com/atlgladiators) or Snapchat (www.snapchat.com) at "gladshockey". -###-

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