Jacksonville, FL - The Atlanta Gladiators faced-off with the Icemen in Jacksonville for the first of 10 meetings between the two South Division rivals. A late game-tying game by the Glads sent the game to OT but behind a 38 save performance from their rookie goalie. Jacksonville won the game in the extra session 3-2 on Thursday night.
The Icemen were the beneficiary of a fortuitous bounce early in the first period to take the lead 1-0, at the 3:55 mark. Garrett Cockrill skated with the puck through the right circle and tossed a backhand shot towards the Gladiators net. Atlanta goalie, Sean Bonar made the left pad save but saw the puck redirect of the skate of his defenseman in front on the rebound and cross the goal-line for the Cleveland Monsters product’s second goal on the campaign.
After a bevy of chances on net, Atlanta finally broke through at the 13:46 mark of the middle frame with a power play goal. Justin MacDonald moved into the team lead in goals with his third tally of the season on a one-timer from the slot. Nolan LaPorte and Ben Danford earned the assists on the second power play goal for MacDonald on the year.
Jacksonville regained the lead with 2:30 left in the second period. After Danford was hauled down coming into his offensive zone leaving the Glads wanting a penalty call, Dajon Mingo chipped the puck the other direction which gave Wacey Rabbit a shorthanded breakaway. The Alberta native ripped the puck over the right shoulder of Bonar for his second goal of the season.
It took until the 17:33 mark of the third for the Gladiators to tie the game up at two. Jesse Gabrielle received a drop pass from Zach Malatesta and blasted a wrist shot past Icemen goalie, Mikhail Berdin for his second goal of the season. Derek Nesbitt got the other helper on the late game-tying tally.
The game would shift to overtime with both teams earning a point in the standings. After Berdin made his 37th and 38th save of the game, the Icemen scored the game-winning goal on the transition to give themselves the 3-2 overtime win on a tally from Cody Fowlie.
With the point in the OT loss, Atlanta improved their point total to five on the season with a record of 2-2-1-0. Jacksonville remained unbeaten and now boasts a record of 3-0-0-0 and six point on the season.
Up next, Atlanta continues the three-game road trip this Saturday in Greenville, SC for a 7:00pm battle with the Swamp Rabbits.