For the third straight game, the Jacksonville Icemen (0-1-1-0) face off against a divisional opponent in the 2017-18 season presented by Community First Credit Union. The Atlanta Gladiators (0-4-0-0) come to Veterans Memorial Arena on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m as both teams battle for their first win of the season.
Despite two losses, the Icemen are bringing a lot of positives into this matchup. The penalty killing unit continued to impress last Saturday, keeping the Stingrays scoreless on all five power plays, bringing the total to 11 consecutive penalties killed. Jacksonville was strong defensively against the 2017 Kelly Cup Finals runner-up, holding the Stingrays to only 21 shots during the game. Offensively, Alexandre Goulet and Elgin Pearce continued to produce as both collected points on Saturday. 21-year-old Bobby MacIntyre notched his first-ever career goal to add to the Icemen's scoring depth.
On the other side of the matchup, Atlanta has only faced the Florida Everblades this season, losing all four games in regulation. On the season, the Gladiators are just 2/23 on the power play and have allowed seven goals on the penalty kill. Defensively, the Gladiators have allowed 129 shots and 16 goals, averaging four goals allowed per game. Atlanta has also struggled offensively this season, averaging just 26.25 shots per game with a total of seven goals scored.
Heading into Thursday's matchup, the Gladiators are averaging six penalties per game. Despite a poor performance on the power play last game, the Icemen have a real opportunity to capitalize with the man advantage against Atlanta. Jacksonville will need continued production from its offense as well as a strong special teams performance to take down the Gladiators.
Cheer on the Icemen as they fight for the club's first-ever victory at Veterans Memorial Arena on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are going fast, get yours today.