DULUTH, Ga. - The Atlanta Gladiators (1-1-0-0) lost to the Florida Everblades (1-1-0-0) in a 5-3 decision on Saturday night at Gas South Arena. Mike Pelech and Time Davison pitched in goals during the second period in an attempted comeback, but the Everblades pulled ahead with a pair of third-period goals.
First Star: Oliver Chau (FLA) - goal, two assists
Second Star: Joe Pendenza (FLA) - goal, assist
Third Star: Austin Crossley (FLA) - goal
The Gladiators fell behind in the first period after a barrage of Everblades goals. Rookie Oliver Chau scored on a breakaway to put Florida ahead 1-0 and to record his first professional tally (12:07). Austin Crossley made it 2-0 when he fired a shot from the point through traffic that Atlanta goaltender David Tendeck never picked up (15:28). Joe Pendenza snuck a puck past Tendeck on a two-on-one later in the period to extend Florida's lead to 3-0 (17:18).
Just over two minutes into the second period, Mike Pelech knocked a loose puck past Florida goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick to put Atlanta on the board (2:22).
Kaid Oliver played an active second period for the Gladiators, and located a streaking Tim Davison for Atlanta's second tally (7:30). Davison made an athletic extension to corral the puck, and then rifled it past Fitzpatrick's right shoulder to cut Florida's lead to one.
Florida regained control in the third period with a pair of goals from Robert Carpenter (1:00) and Robert Calisti (9:59).
Reece Vitelli scored his second professional goal on the power play in the third period (17:05). The rookie now has two tallies in his first two professional games.
Tendeck finished his Gladiators debut with 23 saves on 28 shots. Fitzpatrick earned his first win of the season for Florida with 19 stops on 22 Atlanta shots.
The Gladiators take on the Savannah Ghost Pirates for their first-ever meeting tomorrow at 3:00 PM at Gas South Arena.