Atlanta Improves Point Streak to Five Games with 2-1 Home Win over the Admirals
DULUTH, GA - The Atlanta Gladiators used the luck of the Irish, and a late third period goal from Nick Bligh, to defeat the Norfolk Admirals 2-1 as they returned to action at the Infinite Energy Arena on St. Patrick's Day, Sunday March 17th.
Early on in the game the visitors caused some problems for the Atlanta defense, however, strong play from Sean Bonar kept the game scoreless. The Gladiators then had some strong chances themselves, but none could find the back of the net as the first period ended 0-0.
The Gladiators would finally break the tie at the 8:08 mark of the second. John Furgele collected the puck in the neutral zone and sent a pass up the ice to Nolan LaPorte. The Chicago, IL native then skated the puck into the offensive zone on the near side and fired a shot that rang off the post, and into the net, for his 16th goal of the season.
Norfolk then responded with just over three minutes left to play in the middle frame to knot the score at 1-1. TJ Melancon received the puck at the point and floated a pass into the slot, where Connor Hurley got a stick on the puck and knocked it to the back door. There, Domenic Alberga stood wide open and tapped a shot into the goal for his 15th of the year.
Atlanta would retake the lead with a power play goal of their own at the 11:42 mark of the third period. Derek Nesbitt took control of the puck in the neutral zone and sent a quick pass up the boards to Nick Bligh. The Dartmouth College product then brought the puck into the zone on the far side and unloaded a shot that broke through the pads of Ty Reichenbach and rolled into the net for his team leading 24th goal of the season.
The Admirals would put forth a fierce comeback attempt in the final minutes of the game with numerus chances. Bonar held down the fort for the Glads between the pipes as the home side improved their point streak to five and moved into sole possession of the final playoff spot in the South Division for the time-being.
Up next, Atlanta hits the road for a short one game trip to Orlando for a matchup with the Solar Bears at the Amway Center in Central Florida on Thursday at 7:00 pm.
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