The Gladiators started the month of February looking to carry the momentum over from a successful January in Jacksonville, FL. Behind Brady Vail’s two-point night and 23 saves from Sean Bonar, Atlanta held on to take the close battle with the Icemen by the score of 2-1 Thursday night.
Right after the Gladiators hit the post at one end, Jacksonville went the other way and scored the opening goal 3:39 into the first period. Jimmy Lodge netted his 11th goal on the year with a wrist shot from the slot after getting a pass from Elgin Pearce. Josh Erickson notched the secondary assist on the only goal of the first frame.
The Gladiators broke through and tied the game 13:33 into the middle session. Eric Shand, playing in his first game as a Glad, used a fake-shot-pass to the top of the crease to an awaiting Brady Vail. The Florida resident redirected the puck past the Jacksonville goalie, Austin Lotz for his 14th tally on the campaign. Darby Llewellyn earned the credit for the second helper on Atlanta’s first goal of the night.
Just a few shifts later, the visitors moved to the lead for the first time on the evening. Vail blasted a one-timer after getting a pass from Taylor Stefishen. Standing in front of the net, Luke Sandler deflected the puck past Lotz’s pad for his ninth goal of the year.
Jacksonville would hold Atlanta to just three shots in the third but could not beat Bonar as the Gladiators completed the 2-1 victory.
With the road win the Gladiators advanced to 49 points on the season with a record of 23-23-1-2 and remained in third place in the South Division. Jacksonville remained at 35 points and dropped to 15-25-3-2 with the loss.
Up next, Atlanta will duel with the Jacksonville Icemen once again at 7:30pm at the Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday evening.
Atlanta Earns Win in Close 2-1 Contest in Jacksonville
Thursday, February 1st
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