ORLANDO, Fla. - The Atlanta Gladiators (2-2-0-0) ran away from the Orlando Solar Bears (1-2-1-0) with a 6-3 victory at Amway Center on Sunday in Orlando. Mike Pelech, Derek Topatigh, and Gabe Guertler all scored goals within a 57-second span in the third period to fuel the Gladiators. The Glads finished going three-for-five on the power play and a perfect four-for-four on the penalty kill.
First Star: Noah Laaouan (ATL) - goal, two assists
Second Star: Tim Davison (ATL) - goal, two assists
Third Star: Derek Topatigh (ATL) - goal, assist
Atlanta struck first in the contest courtesy of Tim Davison (10:19) five seconds into a Gladiators power-play opportunity. Davison’s fired a hard shot from the point to put Atlanta ahead 1-0 .
Orlando tied things less than minutes later when Joe Carroll beat Gladiators goaltender David Tendeck to make it 1-1 (8:39). The Solar Bears would take the lead in the second period with under 10 minutes remaining after Ross Olsson scored to make it 2-1 (8:28).
Shorty after Orlando claimed the lead, some quick action by the Gladiators would put Atlanta back in front. Cody Sylvester kicked things off with his first goal of the season to draw the game even at two (6:59). Noah Laaouan’s first professional goal pushed Atlanta ahead 3-2 when he sailed down the left wing and went short side on Solar Bears goaltender Brad Barone (4:33).
Atlanta’s lead was short lived as Orlando found the equalizer with just over two minutes remaining in the second frame when Andrew Sturtz found the back of the net (2:31).
The Gladiators struck quickly and often in the third period to put the game out of reach. On a four-on-three, Mike Pelech got things started just before the midway point of the third to make it 4-3 (10:15). Just twenty seconds later (9:55) Derek Topatigh netted a power-play goal for his first of the season to make it 5-3 Atlanta. Gabe Guertler capped the goal-scoring flurry just moments later to extend Atlanta’s lead to 6-3 (9:18).
David Tendeck made 25 saves on 28 shots in the win for Atlanta while Brad Barone turned aside 37 shots for Orlando in the loss.
After the final buzzer, Atlanta's Jacob Graves and Orlando's Ross Olsson dropped the gloves in a spirited bout. The pair fought twice in the game, once in the first period and once after regulation.