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Iron Men Back on D

Tuesday, July 23rd
Iron Men Back on D

Duluth, GA – The Atlanta Gladiators, ECHL affiliate of the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins, re-signed two key members of its defense from last year’s team, in Zach Malatesta and Jack Stander. The pair have both played with the club for the past two seasons.

“Really happy to have these guys back. They are both great teammates that will do anything it takes to help the team win. They are also great people and I’m looking for big seasons out of both guys,” said Glads Head Coach Jeff Pyle.  

The 22-year-old Zach Malatesta who is from Boston, Massachusetts, played Junior Hockey for the Boston Jr. Bruins (winning a championship in his first season) and is playing for the Gladiators who are a Boston Bruins affiliate, completing the all Boston hat trick.  

“I think we have a great core of guys returning from last year.  Everybody remembers how close we were to making the playoffs and knows what it takes, so I’m excited to get this year going with the new additions we have made,” said the returning Gladiators defenseman Malatesta.

Malatesta, who will begin his third straight season with the club, has six goals, 27 assists, for 33 points in 108 games, as a member of Atlanta’s hockey team.  Last season the ironman played in in all 72 games. 

“Zach is a great two-way player who cannot only play defense but can also fill in as a forward and create more offense up front.  He plays a heavy game and is a guy that you always need to know where he is if you’re the opponent.  He’s a game changer!,” stated the Gladiators Head Coach.

Jack Stander, the 24-year-old defenseman from Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, played college hockey at Canisius College (NY).  In four seasons there, he had six goals, 23 assists, for 29 points in 137 career games with the Golden Griffins.  After his senior year in 2017-18, he went straight to the Gladiators to help them at end of the year in his first season as a pro.  

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of this organization. The way we bounced back as a team last year, especially the second half of the season, was remarkable. That’s the kind of environment you want to be in and the type of organization you want to play for, with key pieces coming back and the momentum we had at the end of last year, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish,” said Stander.

Last season much like his teammate, the jack of all trades ironed it up for Atlanta, also playing in every game last year. Stander scored three goals, with 12 assists, totaling 15 points and even went to the AHL before the year was out.

“Jack is a solid two-way guy as well, that is sneaky, tough and has a heavy shot. He plays smart on both ends and is really disciplined. I thought he had a great rookie year and played against everyone’s first line for most of the season. He was rewarded with a call up to Syracuse at the end of the year,” add Coach Pyle. 

The Atlanta Gladiators open the 2019-20 season home schedule on October 18th and 19th at the Infinite Energy Arena. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting website at www.atlantagladiators.com or by calling the front office at (770) 497-5100.

The Atlanta Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league and are the Affiliate of the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins.  All home games are played at the 9,119-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, Georgia. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for providing fun, friendly, family, affordable entertainment and are consistently ranked as one of the best “Things to Do” in the Atlanta Metropolitan area and across the North Georgia region.

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