ESTERO, FL – The Atlanta Gladiators suffered a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Florida Everblades on Saturday evening in South Florida.
The visiting Glads were bested in the opening frame by Everblades, who were on the second night of their Hockey Awareness Weekend and donning pink alternate jerseys. The hosts tallied two goals from D Cody Sol and D Michael Downing within :34 seconds early in the first period.
The Gladiators did not sit back, striking like lightning on their power play opportunities. Captain Derek Nesbitt and F Thomas Frazee netted back-to-back goals within :17 seconds in the second period to tie the game. Just over a minute later, Florida reclaimed the lead for good when F Lukas Craggs beat Atlanta G Chris Nell to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
The third period was dripping with drama early on, as Atlanta pressed to find the game-tying goal. Ultimately, the ‘Blades snagged an insurance goal from F Hunter Garlent with 11:34 to play in regulation. With the net empty, Craggs bagged his second score of the night to secure the 5-2 win for the home team.
The Glads will head north to Orlando for a division match-up against the Solar Bears at 3:00 PM Sunday afternoon. Atlanta returns to home ice against the Adirondack Thunder for Taco Tuesday. Puck drop is set for February 18th at 7:05 PM.