JACKSONVILLE, FL – Zach Malatesta scored twice and added an assist to help the Atlanta Gladiators edge the Jacksonville Icemen 5-4 in front of a record crowd of 12,836 at Veterans Memorial Arena Thursday afternoon. The game marked the highest attended hockey game in Jacksonville Hockey history.
Malatesta scored the first of his two goals in the game at 6:50 of the first period when he tipped and redirected a shot past Icemen goaltender Adam Carlson to put Atlanta in front 1-0.
Jacksonville evened the game at the halfway point of the first period when the Clark Brothers, Emerson and Everett, connected on a 2-on-1 rush to put the score at 1-1.
The Gladiators reclaimed the lead with a power play goal by Luke Nelson just 90 seconds into the second period. Moments later, Derek Barach centered a pass to Garret Ross in the slot. Ross snapped a shot into the net past goaltender Martin Ouellette to tie the game at two.
The see-saw battle continued, as six minutes later, Atlanta’s Nick Bligh tipped in a shot to put the score at 3-2. The Icemen once again managed to knot the score at three on a power play goal from Hayden Shaw.
In the third, the Gladiators received a goal from Dante Hannoun to claim their fourth lead of the contest at 7:03 of the third period. After setting up two goals earlier in the game, Derek Barach scored a goal of his own to put the game at a 4-4 count. However, less than a minute later, Malatesta struck again, netting his second goal of the game at 8:36 of the final stanza to pull Atlanta back in front for a fifth time.
Despite rallying to tie the game four times in the contest, Jacksonville could not find a fifth tally to force overtime as Atlanta held on for the 5-4 victory.
The two teams meet again in Downtown Jacksonville tomorrow. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. Fans can catch all game broadcasts at www.mixlr.com/jaxicemen or watch the game online at ECHL.TV
Upcoming Home GamesFriday, November 15, vs, Atlanta, 7:00 p.m. – Wendy’s 4-Pack Fry-Days! 4 tickets, 4 Icemen mini sticks and 4 small Dave’s Single Combos at Wendy’s.
Saturday, November 16, vs. Orlando, 7:00 p.m. – Marvel Super Hero Night! The Icemen will wear special Marvel themed jerseys for the game.
Flexible ticket packages and discounted group tickets are on sale now. Contact 904-602-7825 for more information.