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Lane's Hat Trick and OT Winner Gives Atlanta the Sweep of Greenville

Sunday, January 21st
Lane's Hat Trick and OT Winner Gives Atlanta the Sweep of Greenville

The Gladiators took the ice in Greenville for the third straight evening looking for the weekend sweep of the Swamp Rabbits. Phil Lane scored a hat trick and the game-winning goal in overtime en route to the fifth straight win vs. their division rival on Sunday afternoon.

Greenville for the first time this weekend notched the game’s opening goal. 3:45 into the first period, Shane Walsh collected the puck in the crease after a Dan Vladar save on a Caleb Herbert shot. The second-year pro then potted the puck into the goal for his first mark on the season.

With Atlanta shorthanded, the Glads tied the game at 6:46 of the first session. Phil Lane intercepted a Greenville pass attempt in his offensive zone and moved in on a partial breakaway. The team’s leading goal scorer increased that total even more depositing his 20th goal of the season past Ty Rimmer with a wrist shot to the blocker side.

Atlanta took their first lead of the game just :40 seconds later. It was Lane again, this time with a redirection of a Rick Pinkston point shot that eluded Rimmer. The tally gave the Gladiators’ alternate captain his team-high sixth multi-goal game of the season.

Exactly a minute later, Atlanta continued the first period offensive surge and pushed their lead to 3-1. Derek Nesbitt earned his ninth goal of the season slamming in a rebound from the top of the crease. Pinkston registered another helper after taking the initial shot on the play.

Greenville cut the Atlanta lead back to just one with a score 16:30 into a high scoring opening period. Jack Nevins scooped the rebound in past Vladar’s glove for his seventh tally on the year. Joe Basaraba and Wade Murphy earned the assists on the second Greenville tally of the evening.

The Swamp Rabbits brought the contest back to even 3:45 into the second period. Murphy walked out from behind the goal and slipped the puck five-hole past Vladar. The Arizona State product’s fourth goal on the campaign was assisted by Nevins.

The Gladiators retook the lead with a power play goal at the 10:33 mark of the middle period. Nesbitt and Lindsay Sparks worked the puck around the zone before finding an awaiting Ben Danford on the far side. The Minnesota native blasted a one-timer past new Greenville goalie, Zoltan Hetenyi for his eighth goal of the season.

Atlanta was unable to hold the lead as the home side tied the game again 13:56 into the third. Evan Jasper tapped the puck past Vladar after it ricocheted off the end-boards into the crease. Herbert and Walsh added their names to the scoresheet again on the game-tying goal.

After either team was unable to score in the remainder of regulation, the game shifted to overtime. Just :23 seconds into the extra session, Nesbitt found Danford open in front of the net. The defender turned and fired a shot that was stopped by Hetenyi and bounced across the net-mouth. Lane rushed to the loose puck and shot the it into the open net completing his second hat trick of the season and giving the Gladiators the weekend sweep of Greenville.

Earning two more points in the standings, the Gladiators improved to 45 points on the year with a record of 21-20-1-2 and remained in third in the South Division. Greenville earned one point and moved to 40 points on the campaign and stayed put at fifth in the division.

Up next, the Gladiators head home for the first of three straight at the Infinite Energy Arena for Hockey Fights Cancer Weekend on Friday night. The puck drops on purple ice vs. the Norfolk Admirals at 7:35pm.

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