The Atlanta Gladiators traveled to Virginia on Wednesday night for their first matchup of the year with the Norfolk Admirals. After trailing by three in the third period, the Gladiators mounted a comeback behind Phil Lane and Chase Witala’s four-point nights to win 5-4 in overtime.
The Admirals opened the scoring for the game and took the 1-0 lead with 9:07 remaining in the first period. Brodie Dupont netted his third goal of the season after he regathered his own rebound in front of the net and slipped the puck past Atlanta’s goaltender, Matt Ginn. Both Angelo Miceli and former Glad, Trevor Mingoia were credited with an assist on the play.
Norfolk then doubled their lead on a shorthanded goal with 3:12 left in the opening frame. After the puck bounced over the stick of a defender, Dupont knocked it forward to Grant Besse who then skated in on a breakaway and beat Ginn through the five-hole to make it 2-0 for the Admirals with his fifth goal of the season.
The Gladiators cut the score to 2-1 just 3:00 into the second period with a blast from Taylor Doherty. The puck was rescued in the corner by Thomas Frazee and sent to the middle of the ice where Phil Lane faked a shot and knocked the puck through to Doherty. The Ontario native notched his second goal of the year on the first of the night for the visitors.
Just 1:10 into the third period Norfolk regained their two-goal lead. Darik Angeli netted his first goal with the Admirals after Brady Vail sent a pass to him through his legs, and he slotted a shot over the glove of Ginn. Besse notched his second point of the night with an assist on the play.
Besse then continued his hot night and netted his second goal of the evening just over a minute later. Daniel Johnston and TJ Melancon both added their name to the scoresheet with an assist after the Minnesota native tallied his third point of the game to put Norfolk ahead 4-1.
Atlanta would respond with a power play tally 6:12 into the final regulation period. Lane buried his sixth goal of the year with a tap in on a rebound in front of the net. Ben Marshall and Chase Witala both picked up an assist on the goal that cut the lead to 4-2.
Lane then potted his second in a row to bring the Gladiators back to within one with 7:00 left in the third period. The forward muscled a wrist shot past Murray for his third point of the night. Both Witala and Frazee were credited with their second point of the game on the play.
Alex Gacek found the back of the net with 1:46 remaining in the third to tie the game at 4-4. The second-year-pro was able to slide a shot past Murray’s pad to even the game, and Lane and Witala both added another point on the play.
After the game was tied at 4-4 at the end of regulation, the two teams headed to overtime to declare a winner. Just 1:11 into the extra frame, Witala stole the puck from an Admirals’ defender and broke down the ice by himself. The former Prince George Cougar then lined a shot under the blocker of Murray to give Atlanta the 5-4 victory.
With the comeback win on the road, Atlanta improved to 5-4-0-1 on the season and remained in fourth in the South Division with 11 points. Meanwhile, Norfolk dropped to 3-7-1-0 with the loss and stayed in fifth in the division with seven points.
Up next, the Gladiators will travel to the North Charleston Coliseum for a matchup against the division rival Stingrays. The puck will drop at 7:05 on Friday night between Atlanta and South Carolina.
Atlanta Erases Three-Goal Third Period Deficit to Take 5-4 OT Victory in Norfolk
Wednesday, November 8th
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