WHEN: Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:00 PM
WHERE: Gas South Arena - Duluth, Ga.
WHO: Atlanta Gladiators vs Orlando Solar Bears
PROMOTION: It's Sing for Santa! Join the Gladiators for hockey and holiday cheer! Enjoy a festive hockey atmosphere and intermission caroling from local schools.
DULUTH, Ga. - The Gladiators get back to action tonight against the Solar Bears after five days of rest since a 3-2 win on the road against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Atlanta and Orlando have met twice previously, and the Glads have dominated both matchups by outscoring the Solar Bears by a combined score of 11-3.
Scouting the Solar Bears: Rookie Joe Carroll leads Orlando with 14 points this season (8G-6A). The Solar Bears are the only team in the South Division below .500, but they have picked up points in five straight games entering tonight. Four of Orlando’s last five contests have reached overtime, with the Solar Bears winning just one of those OT matches. Orlando recently lost goaltender Jack LaFontaine to the AHL and received forward Grant Mismash and defenseman Tyson Feist from the Syracuse Crunch.
Real Deal Neils: In last Saturday’s 3-2 win over Greenville, Eric Neiley tabbed his second three-point night of the season with a goal and two assists. Neiley is now tied for second in scoring on the team with 13 points (6G-7A), and he leads the club with four multi-point games. The forward’s other three-point night came on Nov. 18 at Florida in a 5-4 overtime loss when he tabbed three assists. Neiley compiled seven multi-point efforts in 48 games last season with Atlanta, including a four-point night on Mar. 4 at Norfolk.
Success Against Orlando: The Gladiators cruised to victories in both of their previous games against the Solar Bears on Oct. 30 and on Nov. 4. In the first meeting at Amway Center, Atlanta won 6-3 thanks to three power-play goals and three goals in the span of 57 seconds in the third period. In the most recent encounter, the Glads outshot the Solar Bears 39-17 and claimed a definitive 5-0 decision. Through the two previous matchups, Atlanta has outscored Orlando 11-3 and converted five times on the power play while holding the Solar Bears scoreless in nine power-play attempts.
"The Tower": 6-foot-6 goaltender Tyler Parks has been one of the league’s best goaltenders to start the 2022-23 campaign. Parks currently has the ECHL’s 10th-best goals-against average at 2.30 and the fifth-best save percentage at .933. Both of those marks rank second in the South Division as well. The AHL-contracted goalie has a 6-3-0-0 record this season and has allowed more than three goals only once so far. Since starting with the Gladiators at the beginning of last season, Parks has still not lost back-to-back games in regulation with Atlanta.