Duluth, GA – With training camp about to start, the Atlanta Gladiators have invited five players to tryout. Among them is defenseman Malcolm Hayes a local product, forward Mike Fazio, goaltender Braeden Ostepchuk, forward Lucas Venuto and defenseman Tyler Andrews.
“The tryout guys are coming in to work as hard as they can to show every aspect of their game. They need to prove not only that they are as good as the guys we had last year but better! If they are going to take someone’s job, they will need to have an amazing camp. At the end of camp, they need to make it as hard on me as they can. All of them will be back with us at some point when we have call ups. They have contracts in the SPHL and can play at this level, they just have to find the right opportunity,” said Coach Pyle.
Malcolm Hayes is a 24-years-old local product from Dacula, Georgia. The big 6-foot-2, 220-pound defenseman spent most of his college career at the University of Maine, before transferring to the University of Alaska-Anchorage for his senior season.
The 27 years old lefty forward, Mike Fazio, played four seasons at the University of Wisconsin-River and is from Bartlett, Illinois. After college, he played his first two years as a pro in the SPHL for the Evansville Thunderbolts, playing there for Gladiators head coach Jeff Pyle during the 2017-18 season. Last season along with his time at Evansville he saw his first action in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers, playing in a combined 42 games.
Goalie, Braden Ostepchuk is 26 years old and hails from Lethbridge, Alberta. He spent four seasons playing at Norwich University (VT), including going undefeated in his junior year with a record of 16-0-0 and a stellar 1.83 GAA, with two shutouts. During his time with the Falcons, he had a career record of 51-12-3, a 2.98 GAA and 12 shutouts. When his senior year ended, he went straight to the pros and played in both the SPHL and ECHL with the Pensacola Ice Flyers and the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Last season, he again split time between the two leagues however he played for two different teams with the Evansville Thunderbolts and the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Mississauga, Ontario native Lucas Venuto is a 25-years-old forward who began his pro career in the SPHL for the Pensacola Ice Flyers. Lucas also brings some ECHL experience, after spending time with the Brampton Beast during the 2016-17 season. Over the last few years, he has played in Sweden around his ECHL stint.
Last season, Tyler Andrews joined the Gladiators down the stretch. The 25 years old defenseman is from Anchorage, Alaska and played college hockey for St. Norbert College (WI), where he spent four years. While there he was a team captain and played in the NCAA Division III Frozen Four semifinal.
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 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 Metro area and across the North Georgia region.