WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 23 at 3:00 PM
WHERE: Gas South Arena – Duluth, Ga.
WHO: Atlanta Gladiators vs Savannah Ghost Pirates
GIVEAWAY: First 1500 fans receive a 20th anniversary pennant
DULUTH, Ga. - A new rivalry begins today with a historic matchup between the Atlanta Gladiators and the Savannah Ghost Pirates. The Glads meet the ECHL’s newest team for the first time ever at Gas South Arena to round out a three-game opening weekend.
Scouting the Ghost Pirates: The Ghost Pirates won their first-ever game 5-4 in overtime last night against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Spencer Dorowicz, Spencer Naas, and Darian Skoech make up Savannah’s leadership group and all wear the alternate captain’s “A”. The Ghost Pirates feature 10 skaters on either AHL contracts with the Henderson Silver Knights or NHL contracts with the Vegas Golden Knights. Six former NHL draft picks reside on the Ghost Pirates’ roster to start the season, including former fifth round selection Isaiah Saville who the Gladiators will likely see today. Savannah is the second youngest team in the ECHL with the average age of the roster just over 24 years.
Climbing All-Time Lists: After a pair of assists on Friday and a goal on Saturday against Florida, veteran forward Mike Pelech now controls sole possession of fifth place in all-time ECHL points at 614 (191G-423A). Pelech passed Chris Valicevic and now has his sights set on Trevor Jobe in fourth place with 635 ECHL points. The veteran is also 37 assists away from Valicevic’s career mark of 460 that ranks second in ECHL history. Pelech is in his second season with the Gladiators and his 14th as a professional.
Extra Special Teams: The Gladiators have been stellar on special teams to start the 2022-23 season. Kaid Oliver and Reece Vitelli provided a pair of power-play goals on Opening Night, then Mike Pelech and Vitelli bagged power-play tallies on Saturday against Florida. Atlanta has gone 4-for-17 on the power play through its first two games of the season for a 23.5% mark. Even more impressive is the Gladiators’ penalty kill unit. Across the opening two contests, Atlanta is still a perfect 8-for-8 on the kill. Last season, the Gladiators ranked 11th in power-play scoring at 19.3% and fifth on the penalty kill at 83.9%.
Lookin' Good, Rook: Rookie forward Reece Vitelli has racked up goals in each of his first two professional games with the Gladiators. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound forward led the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL in scoring last season with 25 goals and 51 points. Vitelli signed an AHL contract with Atlanta’s affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners, in August and was reassigned to the Gladiators on Oct. 7.