DULUTH, Ga. - The Atlanta Gladiators (12-6-1-0) won their third straight game on Saturday night against the Orlando Solar Bears (6-10-4-1) in a 5-3 game at home. Eric Neiley and Reece Vitelli both scored two goals to lead Atlanta. The Glads trailed by two goals at two different stages in the game but scored three goals in the second period to pull away.
First Star: Eric Neiley (ATL) - two goals
Second Star: Reece Vitelli (ATL) - two goals
Third Star: Cody Sylvester (ATL) - three assists
As in last night's matchup, the Solar Bears delivered the first blow in the first period. Mathieu Foget skated in on a breakaway and scored on the backhand to give the Solar Bears a 1-0 lead (2:49).
Jaydon Dureau made it 2-0 with a wrist shot from the left circle later in the first period (16:18).
The Glads found the scoreboard late in the first with the 'Captains Line' on the ice. All three alternate captains picked up a point on Eric Neiley's ninth tally of the season (18:37). Neiley was able to secure a rebound from Mike Pelech and Cody Sylvester and flip it into the net.
A wild second period began with another Orlando score. Chris Ordoobadi extended the Solar Bears' lead with a wrist shot from the right circle (2:34). 10 minutes later, Atlanta's Reece Vitelli dove towards the net to knock a rebound into the Orlando cage (12:47).
Late in the second, Orlando's Ross Olsson was assessed two penalties on one shift when he roughed Colin Theisen and tripped Liam Kirk. On the ensuing 5-on-3, Vitelli tucked in his second tally of the night following a scrum in front of the Orlando net to tie the game at 3-3 (18:01). Less than a minute later with Atlanta on a 5-on-4, Neiley bashed in another rebound to give the Glads their first lead of the night (18:42). Atlanta outshot Orlando 22-8 in the second period.
Colin Theisen closed out the game with an empty-net goal at the end of regulation to seal Atlanta's 12th win of the season (19:26).
The Gladiators outshot the Solar Bears 52-32, and goaltender David Tendeck picked up his fifth win of the season with 29 saves for Atlanta.
Atlanta plays its third game in as many days on Sunday at 3:00 PM against the Savannah Ghost Pirates on the road.