DULUTH, Ga. The Atlanta Gladiators (11-19-1-0) fell to the Florida Everblades (15-10-4-0) in heartbreaking fashion by score of 3-2 Friday night in a game that needed overtime to decide the result.
First Star: Joe Pendenza (FLA) - 1 GWG, +2
Second Star: Robert Calisti (ATL) - 1G
Third Star: Cam Johnson (FLA) - 27 Saves, W
Both teams were rendered scoreless in the first period with the Gladiators facing the brunt of the offensive opportunities, registering only five shots compared to 13 from Florida.
The Gladiators took exception to the lackluster start in the opening period, coming out with a strong offensive showing in the second frame – headlined by the game’s opening tally courtesy of Mitch Walinski after burying the rebound to put Atlanta up 1-0. (11:53)
The Everblades responded later in the period on the power play after Cam Hausinger cashed in on a back-door feed from Sean Josling to tie things up at 1-1. (15:46)
Florida took the lead with just under two minutes remaining in the second period after Andrew Fytenwas able to sneak the dish past the outstretched glove and pad of Brad Barone to go ahead 2-1.(18:08)
The Gladiators threw the first punch in the third period with a game-tying goal from Robert Calisti, who rifled a shot from the left circle to knot things up at two apiece. (3:28)
Sensing the weight of the opportunity in front of them, the Gladiators were able to hold off thedefending back-to-back Kelly Cup champions, forcing overtime and securing an elusive point in the standings.
Joe Pendenza deflated the entire Gas South Arena crowd of 3,003 Gladiator faithful, netting the game-winner after driving into the crease to beat Barone. (3:10)
Barone ended the night with 33 saves off 36 shots while his counterpart Johnson finished with 27 saves off of 29 Atlanta shots.
cCheck out the highlights below.