Florida Spoils Nesbitt's 800th Pro Game with 4-2 Win

December 12, 2017 - ECHL (ECHL) - Atlanta Gladiators News Release

The Atlanta Gladiators returned to action for the second of three straight games when they welcomed the Florida Everblades to the Infinite Energy Arena on Saturday night. A strong third period from the visitors ended up as the difference, as Florida scored two in the final frame to take the 4-2 victory.

Atlanta would open the game's scoring just 2:17 into the first period. Rick Pinkston won the race to the puck deep in his offensive zone and found Darby Llewellyn open in the slot. The Ann Arbor, MI native then wristed a quick shot that sailed over the pad of Florida's goalie Martin Ouellette for his second goal of the season. Brady Vail was credited with the secondary helper on the mark that put the Gladiators ahead 1-0.

Florida would bring the game even at 1-1 with a four-on-three power play goal 15:58 into the opening frame. Michael Kirkpatrick took an off-balance shot from the near side that ricocheted off the leg pad of Atlanta netminder Matt O'Connor and was knocked to the point by Gus Young. There, Nelson Armstrong received the pass and blasted a shot from the high slot that found the back of the net for his third goal of the season. The Everblades then took their first lead of the game with 5:19 remaining in the second period. Clark Seymour kept the puck in the offensive zone after an attempted clear and sent a shot towards the net that was deflected in by Joe Cox. The goal was Cox's eighth of the season and gave Florida the 2-1 lead.

With only two seconds left in the second period, the Gladiators scored a power play goal of their own to tie the game at 2-2. Lindsay Sparks carried the puck into the zone for the Gladiators and sent a drop pass to Phil Lane. Unable to find any room to move, Lane then slid another drop pass to Ben Danford at the point, who ripped a shot just inside the far post for his fifth goal of the season. Florida then regained their one-goal lead 4:14 into the third. Cox was credited with his second goal of the night on the play after he received the puck in the slot and lifted a shot into the top of the net. Steven Lorentz added his name to the scoresheet with an assist on the play, while Seymour doubled his point total for the evening with the secondary helper.

At the 8:03 mark of the final period, the Everblades tallied again to make the score 4-2 in their favor. Young corralled the puck at the blue-line for Florida and chipped a pass to Stephen MacAulay, who then took a few strides before he found Kirkpatrick deep in the zone. The undrafted forward then skated towards the net and rifled a shot past O'Connor for his 10th goal of the year.

Despite a late push in the third, Atlanta was unable to catch up and fell to 10-8-1-1 with the loss on home ice, which put them in fourth in the South Division with 22 points. Meanwhile, Florida improved to 16-2-1-2 with their ninth straight victory over the Gladiators and increased their lead atop the division with 35 points.

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