WHEN: Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:05 PM
WHERE: Bon Secours Wellness Arena - Greenville, S.C.
WHO: Atlanta Gladiators at Greenville Swamp Rabbits
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Gladiators hit the road to collide with the Swamp Rabbits for the first encounter at Bon Secours Wellness Arena this season. Atlanta and Greenville clashed on Nov. 1 at Gas South Arena, and the Gladiators pulled off a 2-1 win thanks to 24 saves from Tyler Parks. Atlanta dominated the season series last year and was 11-4-0-0 against Greenville and 4-3-0-0 against the Swamp Rabbits when playing in upstate South Carolina.
Scouting the Swamp Rabbits: Greenville has won its last three contests, including a 4-3 victory last night against the Jacksonville Icemen. Rookie goaltender David Hrenak has won four of his last five starts and now owns a 4-4-1-0 record with a 3.50 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage. The Swamp Rabbits are led by rookie Alex Ierullo’s 18 points (6G-12A). Forward Nikita Pavlychev has posted 11 goals so far this season and is tied for second in the ECHL in tucks.
Parks Named Goaltender of the Week: Goaltenders Tyler Parks was named ECHL Goaltender of the Week today. Parks went 2-0-0 with a 1.89 goals-against average and a save percentage of .953 in two appearances against South Carolina last week. The 30-year-old turned aside 44 shots in a 3-1 win on Friday and made 38 saves in a 4-3 shootout victory on Saturday. Under contract to Tucson of the American Hockey League, Parks is 6-2-0 in eight appearances with the Gladiators this season and ranks fourth in the ECHL with a .933 save percentage and is sixth with a 2.32 goals-against average.
Crack on Kirk! On Nov. 22, the Arizona Coyotes reassigned forward Liam Kirk to Atlanta from the Tucson Roadrunners in the AHL. Kirk appeared in one game this season with Tucson and posted two goals and one assist in eight contests last season with the Roadrunners. The Maltby, England native is the first player drafted in the NHL to be both born and trained in England. Kirk was taken by the Coyotes in the seventh round of the 2018 NHL Draft and is currently on an NHL contract with Arizona. The forward made his Gladiators debut on Thursday and recorded one shot. On Nov. 25, Kirk recorded his first two ECHL goals with a pair of third-period tallies to extend Atlanta’s lead and break away from South Carolina. After an assist on Tuesday against Savannah, Kirk now has four points in his first for Gladiators games.
Pelech Pursuing More History: Mike Pelech has already tackled several milestones in his career, but even more are on the horizon. The veteran is four goals away from hitting 200 pro tallies and six goals away from hitting 200 ECHL markers. Pelech is also 12 points away from leaping into fourth place in all-time ECHL points and currently has 624. In 33 games, he will become the all-time leader in the ECHL games played.