WHEN: Friday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: Hertz Arena, - Estero, Fla.
WHO: Atlanta Gladiators @ Florida Everblades
ESTERO, Fla. - The Gladiators seek their third-straight win tonight on the road against the Everblades at Hertz Arena. Atlanta polished off Florida 3-2 on Wednesday thanks to two goals from Gabe Guertler and a tally from Reece Vitelli, and the team is looking for its third victory over the Everblades this season. Atlanta held a 5-7-1-0 record against Florida last season but have earned a winning mark of 2-1-0-0 against the defending champs through three matchups during the current campaign. The Gladiators’ power play is 5-for-21 against the Everblades this season and the penalty kill is a perfect 15-for-15.
Scouting the Everblades: Florida missed several key components from its lineup on Wednesday against Atlanta as Robert Carpenter, Stefan Leblanc, and Cam Morrison all failed to make an appearance. The Everblades look to Dominic Franco (3G-4A) and Blake Winiecki (0G-4A) to lead the group up front. Winiecki is still waiting to break out offensively considering he posted 70 points (33G-37A) last season.
Golden Guertler: Forward Gabe Guertler tucked in two goals on Wednesday against Florida and now has three goals in his last two games while leading the team with five tallies for the season. The Plantation, Florida native found twine 19 times in 69 games last season with Atlanta and is well on pace to surpass that total. Guertler’s nine points (5G-4A) ties him with teammate Derek Topatigh (1G-8A) for the Atlanta scoring lead. Four of Guertler’s five markers have come at even strength while just one has come on the power play.
All Aboard the Gravy Train: Defenseman Jacob Graves is tied for the ECHL lead in major penalties with four so far this season. All four majors have been fighting majors assessed to Graves thanks to the 6-foot-2, 194-pound blueliner’s willingness to drop the gloves. Graves has racked up 28 penalty minutes already this season after totaling 68 in 34 games between Wichita and Atlanta last season. Over the course of his pro career, Graves has 442 penalty minutes in 270 pro games.
Still Killin' It: Atlanta’s penalty kill has been suffocating to start the season by allowing just two power-play goals in 40 opportunities against throughout the first nine games. At 38-for-40 on the season thus far, the Glads have the league’s best PK at 95.0%. On Wednesday against the Everblades, the Gladiators’ PK kept Florida scoreless in seven power-play chances, including four in the third period. Atlanta is also one of five ECHL teams this season with at least three shorthanded goals. Eric Neiley, Noah Laaouan, and Bode Wilde have recorded the shorthanded markers for Atlanta this season.