ORLANDO, FL– The Atlanta Gladiators fell to the Orlando Solar Bears 3-1 Friday evening in central Florida. The Glads snagged the early lead before the Solar Bears’ defense clamped down to secure the victory.
It seemed the Solar Bears had snagged the opening score when a scrum in front of the net resulted in the puck finding the back of the net. The head referee waved the goal off, claiming Atlanta G Martin Ouellette had control before the play that resulted in the score. Seconds after the review of Orlando’s potential goal, F Dante Hannoun struck in quick fashion after smooth assist from F Logan Nelson with 12:33 to play in the first period. Only :17 seconds later, Orlando answered in the form of F Colby McAuley.
The Solar Bears carried that momentum into the early moments of the second period. F Jimmy Huntington and D Michael Brodzinski found F Chris LeBlanc for the go-ahead score by the home team less than two minutes into the middle frame. Despite two chances on the power play in the second, Atlanta entered the intermission trailing 2-1.
Less than a minute into the third period, the Gladiators’ penalty kill could not hold off Orlando’s offense. A gaggle of players crashing into Ouellette’s crease resulted in the Solar Bears tallying another goal. After a review, it was confirmed Orlando F Jimmy Lodge pushed across the third score of the night for the home team. The Glads would not lie down, as they poured shots on net. Orlando G Clint Windsor was up to the task as he blocked away the visitors’ best attempts to close out the victory.
Atlanta squares off with these same Solar Bears in Orlando on Saturday evening at 7:00 PM. The Gladiators return to Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, December 13that 7:35 PM. That night is Sing for Santa Night where choral students from around the metro Atlanta area will come together to celebrate the holiday season. Fans are also encouraged to bring unopened toys to donate to the U.S. Marine’s Toys for Tots collection. Tickets are still available for 12/13! Tickets are still available for 12/13.