DULUTH, GA - The Gladiators returned to home ice to host Norfolk for the first of four straight matchups against the Admirals. Goalie Miroslav Svoboda battled to keep the Glads in the game and helped Atlanta earn a point with a 43 save performance as the Admirals completed the 3-2 OT win on Friday night.
Norfolk wasted no time scoring the game’s first goal as they took the lead just 3:22 into the game. Former Gladiator Patrick D’Amico had the puck deflect off a Gladiator defender and land right on his stick. The Winnipeg, MB native then sailed a shot into the net past Atlanta goalie, Miroslav Svoboda. Chris Crane and Kevin Klima earned the assists on the opening tally.
Atlanta quickly responded to tie the game at one just over a minute later. Justin MacDonald chipped a puck down the ice ahead of Tyler Deresky. The New Jersey native sped past all the Admirals and moved in on a breakaway where he slid the puck between the legs of Norfolk goalie Ty Reichenbach. Deresky’s first goal as a glad was also assisted by Ben Danford.
The Gladiators moved into the lead for the first time on the evening just 1:48 later. Joona Koppanen had his shot blocked and ricochet over to Carl Persson in the left circle. The Swedish forward spun around the back of the net and tucked in a wrap-a-round for his first North American pro goal. Derek Nesbitt registered his fifth assist of the season with the secondary helper.
The Admirals struck for the second time to tie the game at two 1:38 into the middle session. Taylor Cammarata sent the puck towards the front of the goal from the left wing circle. The puck caromed off of the skate of Connor Hurley standing in front and jumped past Svoboda into the net.
After a fast-paced third saw no goals scored, the game shifted to overtime with both teams receiving a point in the standings. In the midst of a scramble in the crease, Chris Crane found a loose puck and chipped the puck into the goal securing the win for Norfolk. In the overtime loss, the Gladiators improved their point total to six points and saw their record drop to 2-3-2-0. Norfolk moved into first place in the South Division with 12 points and a 6-2-0-0 record with the OT win.
Up next, the Gladiators face-off the with the Norfolk Admirals once again at the Infinite Energy Arena on Sunday, November 4th at 3:05pm.