JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Atlanta faced-off with the Jacksonville Icemen for the second time this season trying to build off of solid outings in their last few games. In a very tight-checking and close game, Atlanta earned a point but fell in overtime to the Icemen on Friday evening.
The home team capitalized on the only man advantage of the first period, despite a spirited defensive effort by the Gladiators. Dajon Mingo found Wacie Rabbit at the blue line before he walked down the half boards and into the far-side corner. A fortunate pass slipped to the point where Kris Newbury’s shot on goal beat Colton Phinney to take the early lead at the 9:28 mark of the opening period.
Atlanta got even just 1:46 into the middle frame. Jacksonville goaltender, Tanner Jaillet, chased after a puck that was chipped into the near-side corner. He shuttled the puck behind the net, expecting to find a teammate, only to find the Gladiators’ Dave Mazurek. When the Atlanta forward secured the puck, he efficiently navigated his way to the front of the empty net. It was his second goal of the season and allowed the visitors to gain some momentum early in the second period.
Earning the start tonight, Phinney made the most of his opportunity. He made multiple big stops to keep Atlanta in the game, including a diving denial on a great Jacksonville opportunity with 6:00 to play in the third. Neither team found a winner in the final 20 minutes, and the Gladiators went to overtime for the second game in a row.
The garnet and gold would not make their way to a shootout this time. A two-on-one break for the Icemen led to Newbury lifting a second, and decisive, goal past Phinney to give the home team the victory.
Atlanta earned a point for the second straight game and third in their last four, moving to 16 points on the season. Jacksonville obtained two points and improved to 29 on the campaign.
Atlanta concludes their three-game road trip in Orlando, FL on Sunday, December 16th at the Amway Center at 1:30 pm.