GREENVILLE, SC - Despite a great 31-save performance from goaltender Miroslav Svoboda on the road, the Atlanta Gladiators dropped a Saturday night tilt with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 2-0 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Both teams played stingy defense for much of the game, spurred along by the great goalie work of Svoboda and Chris Nell in goal. Atlanta’s best chance came 1:55 into the second period. Nolan LaPorte’s shot beat Nell and pinged both goal posts before deflecting into the corner.
Svoboda continued his superb night in net when an errant pass took a wild bounce off of a board stanchion. The puck tumbled toward an open net after the Czech goaltender played the puck away from his net. He calmly dove back to prevent the score with a stick save.
The home squad found the first goal 4:12 into the final period. Branden Harms found Michael Pelech behind the Atlanta defense on a long pass through center ice. Pelech’s first shot on the breakaway was saved by Svoboda, but the rebound landed at the end of his stick and he put the second chance in the back of the net to break the scoreless drought.
Despite mounting late offensive pressure, the Gladiators could not solve Nell. Stephen Pierog took a long range shot on an empty net to secure the win at 2-0. The loss keeps Atlanta at 13 points, while the win bolsters Greenville to 19.
Atlanta returns to the Infinite Energy Arena next Friday as they play host the Orlando Solar Bears at 7:35 pm.