02/24/2024

STL:

1

DET:

6

Final

MTL:

3

NJD:

4

Final

TBL:

4

NYI:

2

Final

NYR:

2

PHI:

1

Final

WSH:

2

FLA:

3

Final

TOR:

4

COL:

3

Final

VGK:

3

OTT:

4

Final

BOS:

2

VAN:

3

Final

DAL:

2

CAR:

1

Final

CGY:

6

EDM:

3

Final

MIN:

5

SEA:

2

Final

NSH:

4

SJS:

2

Final

ANA:

2

LAK:

3

Final

02/25/2024

TBL:

4

NJD:

1

Final

PHI:

6

PIT:

7

Final

CAR:

2

BUF:

3

Final

NYR:

2

CBJ:

4

Final

DET:

3

CHI:

2

Final

ARI:

3

WPG:

4

Final

NSH:

4

ANA:

2

Final

02/26/2024

OTT:

3

WSH:

6

Final

NYI:

3

DAL:

2

Final

LAK:

2

EDM:

4

Final

BOS:

3

SEA:

4

Final

02/27/2024

WSH:

3

DET:

6

3

11:46

BUF:

1

FLA:

2

3

17:54

ARI:

1

MTL:

3

3

13:27

TBL:

1

PHI:

2

3

18:52

VGK:

3

TOR:

1

3

12:07

CAR:

1

MIN:

2

2

16:09

OTT:

1

NSH:

2

2

16:01

STL:

1

WPG:

3

2

13:44

LAK:

0

CGY:

0

1

17:14

DAL:

0

COL:

0

Final

PIT:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

NJD:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

02/28/2024

CBJ:

0

NYR:

0

07:00 ET

STL:

0

EDM:

0

08:30 ET

02/29/2024

VGK:

0

BOS:

0

07:00 ET

CAR:

0

CBJ:

0

07:00 ET

NYI:

0

DET:

0

07:00 ET

MTL:

0

FLA:

0

07:00 ET

BUF:

0

TBL:

0

07:00 ET

ARI:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

WPG:

0

DAL:

0

08:00 ET

MIN:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

COL:

0

CHI:

0

09:00 ET

PIT:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

LAK:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

ANA:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

03/01/2024

ARI:

0

OTT:

0

07:00 ET

PHI:

0

WSH:

0

07:00 ET

NJD:

0

ANA:

0

10:00 ET

ECHL: Gladiators’ Winning Streak Continues with a Decisive Victory over Stingrays

Photo Credit: Karen Zehner

If you were in the Atlanta area and attended Georgia Day hosted by the Atlanta Gladiators at Gas South arena, then you experienced an exciting, fun-filled day of on-ice action. After beating the Jacksonville Icemen on Friday night, the Atlanta Gladiators came into Sunday’s game undefeated. The Stingrays came to face off against Atlanta after losing to the Savannah Ghost Pirates in overtime the night before. The pressure was on for the Gladiators to continue their winning streak, and the Stingrays were out to be the spoilers. You could almost feel the anticipation coming from the crowd even before the puck hit the ice.

Forward Kevin O’Neil of the South Carolina Stingrays would get on the scoreboard first on the rush at just 3:46 into the first period. The Gladiators would settle in defensively after that, holding off the Stingrays. As we approached 11:26 into the frame, on the 2-on-1, Ryan Cranford found Michael Marchesan, who would put one through the legs of Stingrays’ goalie, Garin Bjorklund. This was the first professional goal for Marchesan. Jackson Pierson and Ryan Cranford are each credited for the assist. The game stands at 1-1 apiece. Cody Sylvester would knock on Bjorklund’s door later in the frame, but it is shut down by the goalie’s glove.

On the PP, after a minor penalty by Jacob Graves, Stingrays’ Patrick Harper would give the Gladiators trouble. He slaps one into the net past goalie Gustavs Grigals (19:28), giving the Stingrays the lead 2-1 as we closed the first twenty minutes of play.

Into the second, we saw the Gladiators and Stingrays duke it out defensively at both ends of the ice. Bryce Montgomery of the Stingrays would get a shot to blast off the blueline but misses, striking high above the net. Reece Vitelli swings the energy back to the Gladiators with a puck off the boards by Mitch Fossier at 2:59 in the middle frame. The second frame continues to see back-and-forth action by both sides. The Gladiators successfully kill two penalties: one early on by Connor Casparie for hooking and later in the period by Micha Miller for tripping. Gustavs Grigals effectively closes the door on several attempts by the Stingrays to find the back of the Gladiators’ net. The Gladiators and Stingrays closed the second period, standing at 2-2.

It was during the third period, yet again, that the Gladiators made their stand. It was just 26 seconds into the third that Jack Matier got past Bjorklund, striking fast and furiously against the goalie. The Gladiators took the lead (3-2) for the first time in the game. Later in the period, Matier would rocket one past Bjorklund again with help from Cranford and Pierson. Those in attendance were on their feet as the Gladiators closed the game with a final score of 4-2. The Gladiators extended their winning streak to 6-0-0.

In a post-game interview, Head Coach Derek Nesbitt said this of his team’s ability to consistently find their winning stride in the third period:

“We have a tremendous leadership group of professional veteran guys, some who are not quite veterans [themselves] just yet but are just showing our younger guys how it’s done…. it’s been really fun to watch.

I don’t know if it’s resilience; we’re not down, but right there, I mean, we come up with [a] couple of big saves. We’re getting rebounds and defensive plays. We’re just getting all the things we’re asking for, and it’s all coming in the third period”.

Jack Matier, on his two goals against the Stingrays, “I think it was just getting pucks to the net, bodies up front, just good passes to me and was able to bury them.” On the team’s ability to finish out the games with a win, Jack credits the team’s overall work ethic and how they just don’t give up. The Gladiators show no signs of stopping as they face each opponent with what can only be described as fierce determination. They will face off against the South Carolina Stingrays, this time on the road, with a puck drop at 7:05 PM this Friday, November 10th, at the North Charleston Coliseum.

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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