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Gladiators Edge Icemen 6-5

Thursday, October 26th
Gladiators Edge Icemen 6-5

In an up-and-down game, the Gladiators skated away with their first win of the season after an intense 11-goal battle in Jacksonville. The Icemen set a franchise record with five goals, but the first franchise win will have to wait another game.

Elgin Pearce continued his hot streak Thursday, opening the scoring off a feed from Ryan Graham to give the Icemen the early 1-0 lead. Minutes later, the Gladiators tied the game when defenseman Josh Atkinson found the back of the net.

Both teams had offensive explosions in the second period as the teams combined for eight goals in the frame. Derek Nesbitt started the scoring frenzy with a power play goal to give Atlanta the 2-1 lead. Nesbitt’s goal with the man advantage was the first time the Icemen have allowed a goal on the penalty kill this season. Cameron Critchlow responded 8:59 into the period to tie the game 2-2. The goal marks Critchlow’s first-ever in ECHL competition. However, Nesbitt would respond with another goal to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead.

Atlanta’s Phil Lane and Ben Danford scored 27 seconds apart to quickly put the visitors up 5-2 halfway through the second period. Down three goals, Alexandre Goulet scored for the third consecutive game to bring the Icemen within two. Icemen captain Garet Hunt notched his first goal of the season minutes later to make it a one-goal game. Once again, Goulet scored to tie the game in dramatic fashion with just 32 seconds on the clock.

The Gladiators struck early in the third when Patrick D’Amico stole the puck in the offensive zone to give Atlanta its third lead of the game. Atlanta would hold off a hard-charging Icemen team and escape Jacksonville with the 6-5 victory. The Icemen drop to 0-2-1 on the season as the team gets ready to embark on a five-game road trip starting Nov. 4 against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

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