JACKSONVILLE, FL - The Atlanta Gladiators returned to the Eastern time zone after a successful three-game swing in Rapid City, SD. Unfortunately, they could not solve the riddle that was Jacksonville goaltender Ken Appleby as they fell 2-0 to the Jacksonville Icemen in north Florida Wednesday night.
Atlanta continued to prove its depth, as a flurry of transactions since the trip to Rapid City brought in some new faces as well as some familiar ones. A familiar face back with the Gladiators was forward Zach Magwood, freshly loaned from the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. He created the first scoring chance of the night in the first period. A wrister from the far-side circle rang the post behind the Jacksonville net minder before caroming into the corner.
In their defensive zone, it was goalie Sean Bonar making the biggest play in the opening frame. After a pad stop on a long-range shot, the Delta, BC product had to dive and stop Everett Clark’s rebound shot. Bonar handled all nine opening frame shots by the home team to keep the affair scoreless after twenty minutes.
The home team broke the scoreless contest when defenseman Jack Glover fed forward Kris Newbury in the attacking zone. Newbury found David Broll in Bonar’s crease, where the one-timer found the back of the net just :54 seconds into the middle frame.
Just when it looked like the Gladiators would nurse the one-goal deficit to the end of the middle period, the Icemen struck again. Scott Dornbrock and Cameron Critchlow found Everett Clark in the crease, where he found the back of the net to double Jacksonville’s advantage just :02 seconds before the second intermission.
Despite a flurry of scoring opportunities down the stretch for the visitors, they could not solve Appleby in net for the remainder of the night. The loss keeps Atlanta just one point out of the final South Division playoff spot, while lifting Jacksonville to 62 points on the season.
The Gladiators finally return to the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, GA on Friday evening when they host the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Puck drop on Hockey in Heels Night is set for 7:35 PM, and you can get your tickets today at atlantagladiators.com.