ECHL Game Recap: Atlanta Gladiators vs. Florida Everblades | 04/5/2024

Phot Credit: Karen Zehner for Inside the Rink

The Atlanta Gladiators played their second consecutive home game against the Florida Everblades on Friday night. This final home game of the season celebrated Fan Appreciation Night, a special event dedicated to the team’s loyal Atlanta fan base. A memorable highlight of the evening was when Mitch Fossier, a team member, pleasantly surprised his teammates and fans with a heartfelt rendition of the National Anthem.

The starting lineup for the Atlanta Gladiators included Dylan Carabia (D), Luke Prokop (D), Parker AuCoin (F), Micha Miller (F), and Reece Vitelli (F). Tyler Harmon (G) and Mitch Fossier (F), Jay Powell (D) are listed on Injured Reserve for Atlanta.

Between the Pipes:

ATLANTA – Gustavs Grigals

FLORIDA – Cam Johnson

Period 1

The Gladiators had a shot on net by Hoffmann sending it off to Navrin Mutter but he missed the net. The Everblades got some shots on their own as they fired near Gustavs Grigals but missed wide. Micha Miller made a shot on Cam Johnson, but he caught it in his chest and made the stop. The Gladiators kept things in their zone as Miller made another strike on the net. The Gladiators working to keep the Everblades at bay.

Zach Uens attempted to clear but was called for icing the puck. The Everblades kept the pressure on the net but the Gladiators defended well as Riese Zmolek fired on the net but missed. The Everblades Riley attempted the wrap-around goal but Grigals got the glove on it, making the stop.

There is a penalty called for Mark Senden for tripping as Atlanta gains the man advantage. Brenden Datema, on the rush, fired on the net but was forced off. The Everblades get the goal as the puck is shot by Sean Josling and finds its way past Grigals. Bobo Carpenter and Josh Ho-Sang are credited with the assist.

Grigals blocked a shot with his blocker side, and the Gladiators cleared the puck. Shortly after, he made a glove save when Joe Pendenza sent a shot towards the net. Grigals then had made a blocker save off of Jordan Sambrook’s shot. Griffin Luce attempted a shot on goal but was stopped by Johnson.

Michael Marchesan loses the puck as he tried to find an open lane. Nolan Burke gained possession and tried to find his way on the net but was stopped short by the Everblades. Reece Vitelli gets some open ice and then feeds it off to Parker AuCoin who wraps it around behind the net but cannot find a way in. Jackson Pierson snagged the puck but cannot an open shot to the net, he feeds it to Boyer who made the shot, but it is stopped down by Johnson.

After the first period, the Everblades lead the Gladiators by 1-0.

Period 1 – Shots on Goal:

ATLANTA – 8

FLORIDA – 6

Period 2

Parker AuCoin gets a hit on an Everblades player. Gicewicz made a slapper and Johnson made the stop. Jake Willets got the puck back to the Everblades zone, made the shot, and was stopped down by Johnson. Cranford fired a shot but missed as the Gladiators continued to find any opportunity they could to find the net. The Everblades shut down Mutter in an attempt to regain momentum. Grigals made a crucial save shortly after the Everblades took a shot at the net. The game kept being redirected as both teams attempted to control the puck near the opponent’s goal.

Carabia’s slapper missed wide, and his second attempt was blocked out as well. Josh Boyer helped clear the puck but the Everblades got on the puck. The Gladiators pulled the goalie but there was a penalty on the Everblades for high sticking on Senden sending Atlanta on the powerplay for the second time. Vitelli’s attempt on the net was deflected. He then passed to Pierson, who couldn’t take the shot. As AuCoin tried to maneuver the puck towards the net, we returned to full strength. Burke had a chance, but the Everblades gained possession and pushed the puck down the ice. The Everblades made an attempt on the net, but Grigals prevented the opportunity.

The Gladiators are in the zone, defending well and putting pressure on the Everblades, who maneuver around the net. Bobo Carpenter takes a shot at Grigals, but the netminder makes a solid save. The Everblades attempted a shot but missed the puck completely. The Gladiators almost had a breakaway, but the play was halted when Wil Riley from the Everblades was called for holding. Micha Miller won the faceoff.

Shortly after, Reece Vitelli was penalized for interference and had to serve time in the penalty box, resulting in a 4-on-4 situation. The Gladiators nearly had a chance to score when Burke almost put the puck in the net, but narrowly missed. We returned to full strength but the fans are mad that another call was missed. Parker AuCoin gets another chance as the Gladiators fight like dogs to get shots on the net every chance as they can. We had a mild toss up after the play as Willets gets dragged down to the ice from the sweater.

We had no change in score this period and remained at 1-0, Florida.

Period 2 – Shots on Goal:

ATLANTA – 7

FLORIDA – 5

Period 3

Grigals makes a save by deflecting the shot away from the net. Reece Vitelli is penalized for high sticking and is directed to the penalty box. The Everblades tightened up in front of the net as Josh Ho-Sang attempted to slide the puck past, but Grigals blocked the deflected shot. Grigals made another save after Ho Sang’s second attempt. Berzolla made a shot on the net but again Grigals stopped it.

Then in traffic, the Everblades Berzolla tried again but Atlanta’s netminder kept it out of the net. It is then that the Everblades get sent to the sin bin when Carpenter gets the high striking call. Atlanta has the man advantage once again. Willets fired from the right side but was gloved down by Johnson. The Gladiators reset and keep in the zone. Datema tried to shoot but the Everblades intercepted and drove down the ice. Reilley took a shot at Grigals upfront but was blocked by Goose.

Reece Vitelli provided support up front for Grigals, while Micah Miller attempted to locate AuCoin but couldn’t establish a connection. Later, the Gladiators tried to find the net but were unable to get the shot past Johnson. A pass was sent to Luce, but he was caught off guard and missed the puck. Gicewicz attempted to aim for the net but missed the shot. Mutter tried to find Hoffmann but the Gladiators were called offside. Ho Sang takes a shot on Goose, but it is defended by the Gladiators.

On the other end, Mutter fires a solid shot, narrowly missing the target. The Gladiators managed to push it back, with Pierson on the right passing to Carabia, but Johnson blocked the shot. Bobo Carpenter scored the goal after Pendenza and Uens took shots from the left, with Carpenter seizing the rebound chance to beat Grigals. The score is now 2-0 in favor of Florida (12:11).

Grigals deflected off another shot on the net, and the Gladiators tried to clear. Gicewicz delivered a strong check to Zack Berzolla in the far corner and played it out. Griffin Luce blocked the puck and obstructed the Everblades as we approach the final five minutes of regulation. It was a dogfight to the end between these two teams but it was the Florida Everblades that would skate away with the win, 2-0.

Period 3 – Shots on Goal:

ATLANTA – 10

FLORIDA – 15

Three Stars of the Game:

1. FLA – C. Johnson

2. FLA – B. Carpenter

3. ATL – G. Grigals

Atlanta Gladiators will head into another three-game series next weekend, starting with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Friday, April 12th at 7:05 pm before heading to Jacksonville Saturday and Sunday for the last two games against the Icemen.

Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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