WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 30 at 3:00 PM
WHERE: Amway Center - Orlando, Fla.
WHO: Atlanta Gladiators @ Orlando Solar Bears
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Gladiators and Solar Bears meet today for the first of seven meetings this season. Both teams are looking for their second win of the 2022-23 campaign after three contests so far. Last year against Orlando, Atlanta claimed victory four times through six encounters, including winning one of two at Amway Center.
Scouting the Solar Bears: The Solar Bears are led by veterans Shawn Szydlowski with five points (3G-2A) and Michael Brodzinski with four points (2G-2A) through three games. Former Carolina Hurricanes third-round draft pick Jack LaFontaine has manned the crease twice for Orlando and has earned a 1-1-0-0 record with a .906 save percentage. At the start of this season, Matt Carkner took over the reigns as the head coach of the Solar Bears after spending five seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL.
New Captains Announced: On Thursday, the Gladiators announced that Eric Neiley, Mike Pelech, and Cody Sylvester were named as the three captains for the 2022-23 season. All three will wear the alternate captain’s “A”, as Head Coach Jeff Pyle opted not to hand out a captain’s “C”. The trio all wore an “A” on their sweaters at various points throughout the 2021-22 season for Atlanta, and all three have held leadership positions previously in their careers. During Atlanta’s 2019-20 campaign, Neiley was an alternate captain while leading the team with 55 points (24G-31A). Pelech recently served as captain for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. Sylvester was named an alternate captain for the Wheeling Nailers during the 2020-21 season in which he tied for the team lead in scoring.
3-in-3: After the Gladiators played three games in a 72-hour span last weekend at Gas South Arena, there are currently five players with three points for a 1.00 point-per-game average. Gabe Guertler, Kaid Oliver, Mike Pelech, and Brandon Schultz all have one goal and two assists under their belts through the first three games of the season, and Kameron Kielly has three assists after the first weekend. Oliver and Schultz both recorded points in each of the first three games while Guertler, Pelech, and Kielly all have posted multi-point games.
Climbing All-Time Lists: Forward Eric Neiley is just two goals away from passing Brad Schell for sole possession of third in all-time Gladiators goals. Neiley currently has 78 goals with Atlanta three games into his fifth Gladiators campaign. Schell skated in parts of six seasons with Atlanta and ranks third in all-time Gladiators games played (262), second in all-time assists (251), and second in all-time points (325).