ECHL: Savannah Ghost Pirates vs. Atlanta Gladiators Recap | 3/14/2024

It was National Pie Day, and Savannah was eating. On their last day of Military Appreciation Week, the Ghost Pirates saw their second meeting with the Atlanta Gladiators, closing this series with a 6-3 victory with a record of 7-3 for their meetings this season. This win is much better than the Pirates’ shutout loss on Wednesday, which was still evident on Logan Drevitch’s face. If you missed the fisticuffs between him and Nolan Burke, I highly recommend you check it out. I don’t know what was said, but our boy wasn’t having it. 

Anyways, to the First Period, we go! We start the night with scratches for Savannah: Nolan Welsh, Michael Bullion, Sebastian Vidmar, and Nolan Valleau. Atlanta Gladiators scratch: Alex Cohen, Mitch Fossier, Spencer Kennedy, and Tyler Harmon. 

Savannah’s gameplay started slowly, with the Kaplan- Jeri-Leon- Drevitch line giving us flashbacks to the night before, but we managed to squeak out of it with a deficit of one at the end of the period. The Gladiators’ Michael Marchesans hand scored the only goal, and the Gladiators saw the only penalty of the period. With the Ghost Pirates failing to cash in on the Power Play. Savannah saw eight shots on goal, with Jordan Papirnys first game back since coming off the injured reserve earlier in the week and seeing 12 saves. Jordan is at a GAA of 3.73 and SV% 0.866; his last game was on February 9th against the Gladiators. 

The action started to pick up in the second period, with Gladiators Mitch Walinksi scoring the first goal three minutes in. Two was the magic number in this period, and less than two minutes later, the Ghost Pirates answered with the first of two goals. Pat Guay scored it, and then Simon Pinard followed, with Pat getting the assist and completing the French Connection. The period was almost the most gentlemanly of all the games; we saw only a goalkeeper interference by Jordan Kaplan of Savannah, which was surprising, seeing that Matthew Boudens and Reece Vitelli started pushing and shoving in the last two minutes.  During this period, lots of teamwork and defense resulted in Atlanta and Savannah seeing 12 shots on goal and ending 2-2. 

The second-period intermission speech must have been one for the books because Coach Loh brought out a different team. We saw Savannah Ross Amour scoring the first of four goals this period at 2:30, followed by Jordan Kaplan, who brought Savannah 4-2 at 9:44. Atlanta answered back with a goal by Jackson Pierson, getting Atlanta to three. At 13:43, Pat Guay took the Ghost Pirates lead 5-3, to be followed less than two minutes later by Logan Drevitch, who also closed out last night’s game with action, this time taking the form of a goal bringing Savannah the win 6-3. Savannah saw Papirny with 26 of 29 shots saved, and Atlantas Gustavs Grigals saw 32 of 38 shots saved. 

Penalties started during the third period, with Alex Swetlikoff slashed by Atlanta’s Jackson Pierson and the Ghost Pirates failing to score on the Power Play again. After the power play, Keltie Jeri-Leon was taken down with a stick/knee-to-knee by Defenseman Dylan Carabia and had to be helped off the ice by the Athletic trainer; no penalty was called. Ten minutes in, Joe Fleming flips the puck high, and we have a delay in the game, giving Atlanta a two-minute power play where they scored and were able to dwindle the lead within one. The goal by Pat Guay brought the proverbial hands out when Atlanta questioned it as goalie interference, but it was ruled to be a good goal. This got things hot on the ice, now sprinkled in the chirping between Reece Vitelli and Matthew Bouden, and we had hands being thrown at 17:55 into period three, leading to both receiving roughing and misconduct penalties, causing both players to leave the game early. The final penalty came from Anthony Collins for a delay of the game when the puck was flipped out, leaving Atlanta on a power play with only three Ghost Pirates on the ice. 

Ghost Pirates on Instagram

Savannah Closed the game out with a victory; Savannah’s season is 59-24-30-4-1, ranked 24th in the league, whereas Atlanta is 61-20-36-3-1 and 28th. Savannah hopes to continue a winning streak when they meet with the South Carolina Stingrays, and Atlanta wants to turn this around when they meet with Toledo Walleyes on St Patrick’s Day.

Savannah Ghost Pirates’ AHL and NHL affiliates

Stephanie DeLaFleur

Beat Writer covering the ECHL Savannah Ghost Pirates, NHL Vegas Golden Knights and AHL Henderson Silver Knights. Follow me on X @StephiDelafleur

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