ECHL Game Recap: Atlanta Gladiators vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits | 03/03/2024

Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte for Inside the Rink

The Atlanta Gladiators Jacob Graves (D), Griffin Luce (D), Zach Yoder (F), Nolan Burke (F), and Micah Miller as the starting lineup. Tyler Harmon and Mitch Fossier both remained on IR. Atlanta’s Coach Nesbitt implemented some line changes following last night’s loss to create more offensive chances in today’s matchup with Greenville.

Between the Pipes:

  • Atlanta – Josh Boyko
  • Greenville – Ryan Bednard

Period 1

Josh Boyko made an early save as Tanner Eberle from the Swamp Rabbits attempted a shot in front of the net, losing his balance and falling on the puck to prevent it from entering the net. The n McKechney attempted a shot, but Boyko caught the puck. McManus passed to Carter Souch, yet Boyko managed to grab the puck with his glove.

The Gladiators make the clear as Brendan Hoffman, on the opposite end of the ice, takes a shot at the net, followed by Graves passing to Michael Marchesan, but Ryan Bednard blocks the shot. Marchesan attempts a redirect, giving Graves another opportunity, but the Swamp Rabbits defense denies them once more. Reece Vitelli takes a shot across the ice towards the net, but Greenville blocks it.

Alex Cohen retrieves the puck from the ice and passes it to a teammate, potentially after enduring a hit to the face with a stick during the play. Subsequently, Graves takes a shot from the right side of the net toward Bednard, but the goaltender catches the puck with the glove. Greenville strikes on Boyko but he tapped it out with his stick. Mitch Walinski struck high on the net but the attempt was caught up in the glove of Bednard.

Hoffman and Cohen made two attempts to connect with the back of the net, but Bednard blocked both opportunities. On the opposite side of the ice, Beauchamp attempted to deflect the shot into the net, but it narrowly missed the target. Marchesan hustled, and Vitelli called for the puck. Vitelli makes the shot but is stopped by Bednard.

With less than four minutes left, the Swamp Rabbits scored first again, capitalizing on a turnover as Greenville seized the opportunity, with Anthony Beauchamp scoring. The Swamp Rabbits take the 1-0 lead (15:56). Spencer Kennedy took a shot at Bednard, but the goaltender managed to block the shot.

Period 1 – Shots on Goal:

Atlanta – 8

Greenville – 10

Period 2

The Gladiators receive a penalty for a delay of the game on Jacob Graves as Atlanta prepares to defend during the penalty kill. Later, Kemp to McKechney who slapped the shot on the net but was denied by Boyko. The Gladiators nullified the man advantage as Boyko made a crucial save when Greenville tried to score as Graves returned to the ice. Atlanta took a shot on goal right from the draw but unfortunately missed the opportunity to score.

Yoder took a shot on goal, but Bednard blocked it, leading to a brief exchange of words between Yoder and a member of the Swamp Rabbits behind the net. Next, Greenville’s Carter took a shot that resulted in an impressive save by Boyko. The Gladiators swiftly moved the puck, and Ryan Cranford scored the equalizer, making it 1-1 (6:41). Robert Calisti and Jay Powell assisted on the play.

Ryan Francis took a shot on Boyko, but he blocked the attempt. The Rabbits then regrouped, with J.D. Greenway trying to score with a wrap-around from behind the net. Boyko swiftly moved out of the net to block the shot and made the save.

Atlanta’s Cranford locates Jackson Pierson, but Bednard deflected the puck, assisting in preventing a scoring opportunity by the Gladiators. Hoffman steals the puck from Donhauser, and then Ryan Cranford retrieves it and takes another shot at Bednard shortly after but is denied. Marchesan aimed the puck the the net, and Bednard made the stop. Greenville’s Carter Souch attempts a shot at Bedard, leading to some team challenges after the play when it appears his stick hit the netminder in the chest. Later, Vitelli attempted a soft shot on the net, but Bednard saw the puck coming his way and made a pad save to stop the puck.

Greenville took a shot but on the rebound, Boyko made an impressive save as McKechney attempted to score. Greenville’s Beauchamp goes up against Cohen and there is no call by the refs while the Swamp Rabbits still trying to shoot at the net. Eberle wraps around but Boyko makes the stop, and Kennedy assists in clearing the puck. We ended the second period tied at one goal apiece.

Period 2 – Shots on Goal:

Atlanta – 11

Greenville – 11

Period 3

In the early moments of the third period, the Gladiators score a remarkable goal by Griffin Luce, assisted by Jackson Pierson (2:52), putting them ahead 2-1. Following this, Micah Miller takes a shot, but it is blocked by a Swamp Rabbit. Hoffman dances the puck but it is stolen near the goal but Coyle snags it. The Gladiators get another opportunity as Carabia passes to Walinski, who unfortunately couldn’t slide the puck past Bednard.

The Gladiators won the face-off who controlled the puck and Marchesan fed it to Walinski as Vitelli took the shot, it was denied by Bednard. Miller discovers a shot opportunity, but Bednard manages to put it away. Atlanta’s Cranford passes to Hoffman, who takes a great shot at Bednard, but he blocks it with his legs. Mitch Walinski almost scored twice, but Bernard denied him both times. Then, Marchesan passed to Walinski who attempted a third shot on Bednard, who once again made the save. Cranford intercepted the puck, and drove down the ice, but missed the shot, causing the puck to go out of play.

Greenville intensified their defensive pressure near the net, but the Gladiators maintained possession of the puck. Calisti gloved down the puck but the play was stopped. Boyko made a save on the initial shot and the following rebound, with Graves joining the play. The Swamp Rabbits scored the tying goal as Eberle’s shot slipped past Boyko’s glove (15:00). The scoreboard stands at 2-2. The Gladiators win the draw, Calisti makes a quick shot attempt but is blocked.

Chris Martin from Greenville takes a hard hit and falls to the ice, but manages to skate off. Miller passes the puck to Powell, who then sets up Burke. Although Burke almost scores with a tip-in shot, it narrowly misses the net.

Period 3 – Shots on Goal:

Atlanta – 9

Greenville – 6

Overtime

Vitelli made the shot Bednard Denies at the other end McKechney took his own and Boyko stopped it. The puck at the hands of Kemp almost hit the net but it was blocked by Pierson who stopped the play, as the net was unattended. Greenway scored the overtime goal for Greenville, denying yet another win for Atlanta. The final score was 3-2, Greenville.

Three Stars:

1. GVL – R. Bednard

2. GVL – J. Greenway

3. GVL – A. Beauchamp

The Atlanta Gladiators will return to face the South Carolina Stingrays at Gas South Arena on Sunday, March 10th at 3 PM.

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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