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Second Period Woes Cause Atlanta to Fall to Jacksonville

Thursday, March 15th
Second Period Woes Cause Atlanta to Fall to Jacksonville

After getting a day’s rest following the home victory on Tuesday night, the Atlanta Gladiators returned to action on Thursday as they welcomed the Jacksonville Icemen to the Infinite Energy Arena. Three goals in the middle frame proved to be the difference for the visitors as they took the 4-1 victory.

Jacksonville struck first 10:09 into the opening frame to take an early 1-1 lead. Jimmy Lodge collected the loose puck in the offensive zone and looked around for an open passing lane. Kyle Bigos stood open at the point and sent a one-time blast into the back of the net after Lodge found him with the pass.

The Gladiators then brought the game even at 1-1 at the 14:18 mark of the first period. Derek Nesbitt controlled the puck at the far-side hash mark of the offensive zone and directed a shot towards the slot. Tanner Pond redirected the attempt from the captain, but Jacksonville goalie Austin Lotz got his pad on the puck and caused a rebound. Phil Lane then grabbed the puck floating in the air and put it down to his stick, where he tapped in his team-leading 29th goal of the season.

Just over two minutes into the middle frame, Jacksonville tallied their second goal of the game to retake their lead. Elgin Pearce carried the puck into his offensive zone and circled behind the net before he tossed a pass towards the crease. In front of the net the puck redirected off the stick of Matt Ustaski and trickled past Dan Vladar for his second goal of the campaign. Brendan Collier notched the secondary assist on the play.

The Icemen then increased their lead to 3-1 at the 4:24 mark of the second period. Lodge created a turnover at his defensive blue line and sent a hard pass through the neutral zone to Bobby MacIntyre. The rookie then skated into the offensive zone and fired a shot from the top of the circle that soared into the net for his 18th goal of the year.

Continuing their strong second frame, Jacksonville lit the lamp at the 10:34 mark to take a 4-1 lead. Lodge once again corralled the loose puck after a turnover in his offensive zone. The West Chester, PA native then sent a backhand pass to Justin Woods in the slot, who snapped a shot past Vladar for his first professional goal.

Unable to recreate their performance from earlier in the week, Atlanta dropped to 29-32-1-2 with the loss at home, but remain in fourth in the South Division with 61 points. Meanwhile, Jacksonville improved to 23-32-4-3 with the victory and moved into a tie for fifth in the division with 53 points.

Up next, the two teams will have a day off tomorrow before they match up once again on Saturday night. The puck drop between the Gladiators and Icemen is slated for 7:05pm at the Infinite Energy Arena on March 17th.

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Greenville Swamp Rabbits
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Saturday, March 2nd
Greenville Swamp Rabbits @ Atlanta Gladiators
Puck Drops:
7:00 PM EST
Gas South Arena
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GVL Greenville Swamp Rabbits
at
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ATL Atlanta Gladiators
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Greenville Swamp Rabbits
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Sunday, March 3rd
Greenville Swamp Rabbits @ Atlanta Gladiators
Puck Drops:
3:00 PM EST
Gas South Arena
Greenville Swamp Rabbits
GVL Greenville Swamp Rabbits
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ATL Atlanta Gladiators
Gas South Arena
South Carolina Stingrays
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Sunday, March 10th
South Carolina Stingrays @ Atlanta Gladiators
Puck Drops:
3:00 PM EDT
Gas South Arena
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SC South Carolina Stingrays
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