Greenville, SC - The Gladiators traveled to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena for their second contest against the Swamp Rabbits this season. Despite two power play goals form Brett McKenzie, the Gladiators fell to Greenville 4-3 on Saturday night.
For the first time in their last four games, Atlanta scored the first goal of the contest at 7:32 mark of the first period. Brett McKenzie finished off a line rush sending his first pro goal in past the shoulder of Greenville goalie, Garrett Bartus for a power play tally. Tyler Moy and Jesse Gabrielle notched the helpers on the first, opening period goal this season for the Gladiators.
Just over a minute later the home side equalized the score at one. Austen Brassard sent a centering pass to an open Michael Pelech in the slot. The former Utah Grizzlies’ captain then slid a shot between the legs of Atlanta goalie, Sean Bonar for his third goal of the season.
The Swamp Rabbits took their first lead of the game at the 18:09 of the first period. With Greenville on the power play, Jordan Sims found Will Merchant streaking down the right wing side. The Minnesota Native then fired a one-time shot past the blocker of Bonar for his first goal as a Swamp Rabbit and the first power play tally against the Glads this season.
The home team improved their lead to two with a quick goal in the first two minute into the middle session. Johno May was left all-alone in front a deked around Bonar for his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Pelech and Brassard earned the assists on the third Greenville mark.
The Gladiators converted on their second power play goal of the game to get back to within one late in the second. The same trio of players teamed up again as Moy and Gabrielle worked the puck to McKenzie who slammed in the loose disc at the net mouth for his second goal of the contest.
Greenville added another tally midway through the third to get the lead back to two. Jake Bolton took a shot from the point that redirected off of multiple players in front of the goal. After the crazy carom, the puck slipped across the goal line and was awarded to Sims who was standing in front.
With the goalie pulled for the extra attacker and under two minutes to go, the Gladiators cut the deficit back to one. Alex Overhardt won the draw clean back to Branden Troock. The former Swamp Rabbit ripped a snap shot past Bartus for his second goal on the season.
Atlanta had numerous chances in the last minute of the game but were unable to score and lost the contest 4-3 to Greenville. With the loss on the road, Atlanta fell to 2-3-1-0 in the standings with five points. The Swamp Rabbits improved their record to an identical 2-3-1-0 in the victory.
Up next, Atlanta returns home for a Friday night contest as they host Norfolk at the Infinite Energy Arena for the first time this season. The puck drops between the Admirals and Gladiators at 7:35pm on November 2nd.