ECHL Weekend Game Recap: Atlanta Gladiators vs. Norfolk Admirals | 03/29/24-03/30/24

Norfolk Admirals/ECHL

Friday – March 30, 2024

Latoya Fournier/InsideTheRink

In the starting lineup for the Atlanta Gladiators were Brenden Datema and Jake Willets on defense, alongside Jackson Pierson, Parker AuCoin, and Micha Miller as forwards. Notably, Josh Boyer made his professional debut with Atlanta this evening. On the other side, the Norfolk Admirals are striving for a playoff spot, marking a decade since the Norfolk Admirals last secured a playoff berth.

Tyler Harmon (G) and Mitch Fossier (F) are both still listed on Injured Reserve for Atlanta.

Between the Pipes:

ATLANTA – Josh Boyko

NORFOLK – Oskari Salminen

Period 1

Robbie Calisti faced early pressure from Montgomery, leading to a pad save by Boyko after Montgomery’s shot. Boyko consistently faced shots from the Admirals, keeping the Gladiators on the defensive. Jay Powell receives a hit, and Boyko once more thwarts Montgomery’s attempt on Atlanta’s net. Jay Powell retaliates with a hit of his own on a Norfolk player.

Brendan Hoffmann and Zach Yoder joined forces on a 2-on-1 play, delivering a powerful shot towards the net, but Salminen managed to make the save. Brenden Datema attempted to set up Josh Boyer for a shot, but unfortunately, the connection with the net was missed. Boyko later blocked the snapshot opportunity from Norfolk. On a breakaway, Yoder feeds the puck to Parker AuCoin but the latter was unable to find the back of the net.

Boyko managed to prevent the puck from reaching the net, even though he couldn’t see where it was being shot. Former Gladiator Brady Fleurent scored first, bringing the Admirals ahead by 1-0, with the apple given to Stepan Timofeyev (13:57). Reece Vitelli made a strong shot on the Norfolk net, but Salminen made the save.

The Admirals seize the power play opportunity as Robbie Calisti is penalized for slashing. Timofeyev, with an assist by Dmitri Kuzmin and Danny Katic, capitalizes on the opportunity for Norfolk, scoring a goal and pushing the Admirals ahead 2-0 at 15:59. The Gladiators gain their advantage when Kamerin Nault is subsequently penalized for tripping. A delayed penalty is called on Robbie Calisti after the Gladiators had another chance to find the net. We ended the first period 2-0, Norfolk leading.

Period 1 – Shots on Goal:

ATLANTA – 5

NORFOLK – 11

Period 2

Atlanta had an early opportunity with shots from Carson Gicewicz and Vitelli, but Salminen successfully made the save. Following a turnover, Micha Miller initiated a rush and passed the puck to AuCoin, although the shot did not find the back of the net. Nault for Norfolk makes a shot, but Ryan Cranford gets the penalty drawn for hooking, sending the Admirals to the PP.

When the puck was back in play, it was sent on to Boyko, who made the save, but the Gladiators struggled to make the clear. The Admirals get goal number three after Boyko, who made the initial save, gets caught on the rebound by Timofeyev, bringing us to 3-0 (3:28). Fleurent and Katic would get the assist on the scoring goal made by Timofeyev.

Jackson Pierson attempted a shot on Salminen, but the goalie managed to make the stop on the play. Datema evades a check and regains possession of the puck. Timofeyev is striving to score against Atlanta once again, but Boyko blocks the shot.

Datema bravely blocked a powerful shot from an Admirals’ player directly to his midsection, but he managed to stop it and continued. Pierson finds Calisti, but he misses the net. Timofeyev has another opportunity for a hat trick, but Zach Yoder obstructs his path to the net.

From the right point, a shot was blocked by Boyko. Timofeyev glanced towards the net on the right side and managed to deflect the puck back, but Boyko swiftly covered it with his glove. Tensions are rising a bit between the two teams, especially as the power play is about to begin. While the Gladiators are on the penalty kill, Pierson and Yoder hit the ice to assist in defending as Atlanta looks to execute a successful penalty kill. Jackson Pierson leads an odd-man rush for the Gladiators, but a remarkable defensive move by Kuzmin intercepts the play, preventing Miller and Pierson from cleanly retrieving the puck and capitalizing on the odd-man rush.

AuCoin, positioned on the right side near the goal, seeks a deflection. He receives a hit from Andrew McClain and retaliates with a shove but loses possession of the puck. The puck is intercepted by Cameron Nault and pushed out to the neutral zone. Cranford attempts a shot that deflects off Carson Musser’s leg. Meanwhile, Zach Yoder, in the Admirals’ zone, aims for a deflection from Cranford, but the attempt is unsuccessful. Cranford evades Josh McDougall to the right but is pressed against the glass. With four players from the Admirals and only two from the Gladiators, Brendan Hoffmann and Ryan Cranford put in the effort to connect but are unable.

A shot is struck high, but Salminen stops it before the puck comes to the net. Later, newcomer Josh Boyer makes a good defensive play in Atlanta’s zone. Micahel Marchesan is trying to exit, but a slashing penalty is then called, and the Gladiators are shorthanded once again.

Later, Dylan Carabia scooped up the puck and tried to clear it. Thomas Caron, positioned at the front of the net, attempted a redirect but missed high and wide. Jackson Pierson quickly reached the puck, forcing Salminen to come out and take action.

As the second period concluded, the Admirals were leading 3-0.

Period 2 – Shots on Goal:

ATLANTA – 7

NORFOLK – 12

Period 3

Atlanta managed to break through late in the third period, as Ryan Cranford capitalized on Jackson Pierson’s rebound, thwarting Oskari Salminen’s shutout attempt at 16:47. Shortly after, Brandon Osmundson secured an empty-net goal for Norfolk, extending their lead to 4-1 at 17:41.

In a late powerplay opportunity for the Gladiators, Reece Vitelli delivered a solid point pass that ricocheted off Micah Miller and found the back of the net, marking the team’s second goal of the game at 19:22. Attempting to catch up, the Gladiators continue to drive the net of Norfolk. However, with merely 24 seconds remaining, Norfolk’s goaltender Oskari Salminen notched his second professional goalie goal with a shot on Atlanta’s empty net, making it 5-2 in favor of Norfolk at 19:36.

Period 3 – Shots on Goal:

ATLANTA – 15

NORFOLK – 11

Three Stars of the Game:

1. NOR – S. Timofeyev
2. NOR – B. Fleurent
3. NOR – O. Salminen


Saturday – March 31, 2024

Taylor Trebotte/InsideTheRink

In the second match against the Norfolk Admirals, the Atlanta Gladiators’ starting lineup showcased Dylan Carabia and Zach Yoder on defense, supported by Michael Marchesan, Brendan Hoffmann, and Ryan Cranford as forwards. In the previous night’s game, the Gladiators suffered a 5-2 defeat against the Admirals, marked by a notable goalie goal for Norfolk.

Between the Pipes:

ATLANTA – Josh Boyko

NORFOLKYaniv Perets

Period 1

Brady Fluerent opened the scoring for Norfolk by swiftly defeating Boyko just 1 minute and 29 seconds into the game, granting the Admirals a 1-0 lead. Brandon Osmundson and Andrew McLean were on the assist. Jake Willets and Brenden Datema are once more teamed up on the defensive line for tonight’s match. Walinski attempted a shot on goal, but Perets skillfully deflected it with his glove, successfully making the save.

Ryan Cranford took a shot on the goal, which was saved by Perets. Subsequently, the Admirals responded with a shot on Boyko, who skillfully caught the puck. Brendan Hoffman successfully checked Carter Jones, creating a chance for the Gladiators to clear the puck. Robbie Calisti caught up behind the net and engaged in some physical play with Osmundson, and both ended up in the penalty box for roughing, resulting in a 4-on-4 situation with each player receiving a two-minute penalty.

Carson Gicewicz just missed a breakaway opportunity at the net. Micha Miller is now penalized for tripping and joins Calisti in the penalty box, resulting in a power play advantage for Norfolk with a 4-on-3 situation. Fleurent takes advantage of this and scores on Atlanta, bringing the score to 2-0 (12:41). Denis Smirnov and Dmitry Kuzmin were both credited with the assist.

Zach Yoder attempted a shot on goal, only to be met with a block. Subsequently, Brendan Datema received a forceful check from M. Liwiski, resulting in a penalty for boarding against the latter, granting the Gladiators a powerplay opportunity. Parker AuCoin’s shot moments later from the circle narrowly missed the net. During the powerplay, Atlanta sought to gain momentum as Willets wound up to take a shot but missed. Willets got another shot on the net but missed. Things got physical in defense as Willets go on the defense of his teammate Datema, who was pushed back by Norfolk. Darik Louis-Jean attempted a shot on Boyko, who successfully saved it from entering the net. Boyko repeated this when Smirnov made a rush toward the net with Yoder defending. Mitch Walinski also took a shot, which was ultimately poke-checked away.

We close the period with Atlanta trailing 2-0.

Period 1 – Shots on Goal:

ATLANTA – 5

NORFOLK – 9

Period 2

Just after the play, Willets received two punches to the back of his head from Keegan Iverson and retaliated in self-defense. Subsequently, both players were penalized for roughing, Iverson getting the double minor, resulting in a powerplay for Atlanta resulting from that penalty. Kamerin Nault serving the second of the penalties. Fluerent achieves a natural hat trick by shooting a wrist shot, skillfully maneuvering the puck past Boyko, getting the shorthanded goal unassisted (4:59). We are now 3-0 in favor of Norfolk.

The Admirals took a shot at Boyko, who dives to make the save. The game returns to full strength as Denomie fires a high shot, with the puck striking Cranford. Timofeyev attempted a shot on goal but was blocked by the Gladiators. Micah Miller attempted a backhanded shot on goal, but Perets managed to block the attempt.

Norfolk draws a delayed penalty with Thomas Caron sent to the sin bin for tripping. The Gladiators are back on the ppowerplay Jackson Pierson took a shot on the net, but Perets managed to make the save. Moments later, another shorthanded goal by Norfolk puts the Admirals up 4-0, with Brandon Osmundson on the goal, assisted by A. McLean (11:59).

Boyko impressed with two remarkable saves in quick succession, as Norfolk launched another attack on Atlanta’s goal before the puck was iced. Kuzmin attempted a shot on goal, but Atlanta successfully blocked it, preventing the puck from reaching Boyko. Michael Marchesan took a shot on goal, but Perets denied the opportunity, preventing Atlanta from gaining the momentum they seek to try and turn things around.

Datema winds up a shot but Perets made the save. Brady Fleurent gets the puck and shuts down the Gladiators, bringing Norfolk ahead by 5. Danny Katic getting the credit for assisting the play. Norfolk earns a penalty, giving the Gladiators a crucial powerplay opportunity. Darick Louis-Jean went to the box for slashing. AuCoin takes a shot at the net, but it gets deflected. Calisti gets that shooting chance himself, however, Perets slides over to freeze the puck.

The Atlanta Gladiators trail the Norfolk Admirals 5-0 as we close the period.

Period 2 – Shots on Goal:

ATLANTA – 14

NORFOLK – 12

Period 3

The Gladiators made a change in goalies, substituting Boyko with Ryan Kenny during the third period to invigorate AAtlanta’son-ice energy. Kenney made the save as Katic made a shot on the goal. Caron puts pressure on Atlanta who tried to clear. Unfortunately, goal number six for Norfolk comes at the stick of Timofeyev (7:09) with Nault and Smirnov getting the assist..

The Gladiators faced ongoing challenges in identifying crucial opportunities to score, whereas Norfolk appeared to have the winning touch. Hoffmann headed to the locker room after a penalty for misconduct and roughing with Liwiski joining him. Nault fired on the net of Atlanta with Kenny breaking the chance in two as the shot had fire behind it. Gicewicz was penalized shortly after, being called for slashing. Nolan Burke attempted a play on the net with Louis-Jean getting in his way, and Burke was unsuccessful in making a connection. Despite CCranford’sstrike on the net, Caron intervened, successfully halting the play.

Vitelli was cross-checked by Norfolk but did not draw a penalty. Burke gets checked from behind by Iverson near the post, with Nault grabbing Burke after that, leading to a series of punches as several players from Atlanta rushed to support their teammate. Soon after, Iverson leaves the ice, with Nault following suit. The situation escalates as Micha Miller is also removed from the game. In rising tensions, a water bottle is thrown, and another Admiral player is ejected from the game.

Penalties after the fight were doled out to:

  • M. Miller 10.00 Misconduct – Continuing Altercation (46.5) 16:44
  • M. Walinski 2.00 Cross-Checking Minor (59.2) 16:44
  • K. Iverson 2.00 Cross-Checking Minor (59.2) 16:44
  • D. Katic 10.00 Misconduct – Continuing Altercation (46.5) 16:44
  • K. Nault 10.00 Misconduct – Continuing Altercation (46.5) 16:44
  • M. Walinski 10.00 Misconduct – Continuing Altercation (46.5) 16:57
  • K. Iverson 10.00 Misconduct – Continuing Altercation (46.5) 17:10

The Norfolk Admirals would beat the Atlanta Gladiators, 6-0 with Perets getting the shutout for Norfolk and taking victories in the back-to-back series.

Period 3 – Shots on Goal:

ATLANTA – 8

NORFOLK – 9

Three Stars of the Game:

1. NOR – B. Fleurent
2. NOR – Y. Perets
3. NOR – B. Osmundson

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ECHL: Allen Americans Announce 2024 Kelly Cup Playoff Roster

The Allen Americans have officially announced their 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs roster. The Americans’ roster consists of 14 forwards, seven defensemen, and three goaltenders. Roster The forwards Allen has on their playoff roster are James Hardie, Easton Brodzinski, Mikael Robidoux, Grant Hebert, Blake Murray, Colby McAuley, Liam Finlay, Kameron Kielly, Chaz Smedsrud, Bennett MacArthur, Jordan-Ty […]

Read More

ECHL: Maine Mariners Announce Playoff Roster

The Maine Mariners have announced their playoff roster since very recently clinching their playoff spot. This came during their last regular season game on Sunday, the 15th, against the Adirondack Thunder. Following an overtime win with a goal from Alex Kile, the Mariners were able to solidify their playoff spot, coming in 4th after a […]

Read More
Photo Credit: Stacey Gramlich | Inside The Rink

ECHL: Wheeling Nailers Announce Roster for Kelly Cup Playoffs & Series Preview

Tuesday, the Wheeling Nailers announced their Kelly Cup Playoff roster as they are set to get underway Friday, April 19, at 7 p.m. from Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana, against the Indy Fuel. Wheeling will roster eleven forwards, six defensemen, two goalies, and seven players on their playoff-eligible reserve list. Players to Watch Many […]

Read More