DULUTH, GA– The Atlanta Gladiators dropped a tight contest 4-3 to the Jacksonville Icemen Friday evening at Infinite Energy Arena. After falling behind 3-0 just over twelve minutes into the game, the home team rallied in the final period to create a chaotic finish.
The visiting Icemen wasted no time in establishing their lead. Thirty nine seconds into the contest, former Gladiator Garret Ross and F Chase Lang fed Mike Hedden for the opening tally of the game. Roughly eight minutes later, it was F Emerson Clark finding F Alexis D’Aoust on a breakaway. The French Canadian slotted away his 4thgoal of the campaign to double the advantage. With 7:26 to play in the first, F Luke Shiplo and D Jacob Cederholm assisted Ross on the third Icemen score of the first period.
Atlanta flipped the script in the middle frame, as Coach Pyle’s squad seemed to respond to his intermission message. Despite an energized plan in the offensive zone, the Glads were unable to capitalize. Finally, with 2:30 to play in the middle frame, F Eric Neiley and F Scott Conway found F Avery Peterson at the blue line. He wiggled his way beyond Jacksonville defenders before taking a wrist shot between the face-off circles to put the Gladiators on the board. While the crowd was still buzzing from the opening goal, D Cody Corbett hit F Nick Bligh with a stretch pass to create a breakaway scoring chance. Bligh finished the opportunity to bring Atlanta within one goal just over a minute to play in the period.
The Gladiators kept up their rampant pace on offense in the third period, challenging Icemen G Michael McNiven. On an unassuming entry into the offensive zone, Conway launched a quick shot that snuck past the shoulder of Jacksonville netminder to tie the game at three with 9:43 to play. Despite all momentum shifting to the side of the home team, Jacksonville’s Garret Ross struck again for his second tally of the night with 6:57 to play. The Glads pressed down the stretch, pulling G Kyle Keyser on a power play in the final :90 seconds. Even with the 6-on-4 advantage, Atlanta could not find the back of the net again.
The Gladiators hit the road Saturday night as they take on the Norfolk Admirals at 7:30 PM. They return to Infinite Energy Arena on Saturday, December 21stwhen they square off with the Orlando Solar Bears at 7:05 PM on Holly Jolly Hockey Christmas night. Fans can participate in an Ugly Sweater Contest as well as the Magic Envelope Giveaway that fans can receive upon entry. Gifts range anywhere from Gladiators’ discounts to $500 in Delta travel credit. Secure your tickets today.