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Gladiators Escape Late Push by 'Blades to Win, 2-1

February 1, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Florida Everblades News Release

Florida Everblades forward Michael Neville handles the puck against the Atlanta Gladiators
Florida Everblades forward Michael Neville handles the puck against the Atlanta Gladiators
(Florida Everblades, Credit: Kevin Bires Photography)

DULUTH, Ga. - Derek Nesbitt tallied the game-winning goal on the penalty kill late in the second period, and Sean Bonar made 28 saves to help the Atlanta Gladiators fend off the Florida Everblades, 2-1, on Thursday night at Infinite Energy Arena.

Atlanta (15-19-6-1, 37 pts.) scored the first two goals of the game and withstood a ferocious push by Florida (31-9-5-0, 67 pts.) in the third period to beat the 'Blades at home for the first time in 25 games.

Atlanta scored first on a tally from defenseman Olivier Galipeau less than five minutes into the opening period. With Florida trying to clear its own zone, Galipeau tracked down the puck in the high slot and immediately released a slap shot that beat Florida goaltender Jamie Phillips low on the blocker side.

Nesbitt then helped move his team's lead to two goals in the last three minutes of the second period. On a shorthanded rush, Nesbitt's initial shot from the left wing was blocked by traffic in front, but he got it back and fired it past Phillips from the left circle with 2:53 remaining in the middle stanza.

Florida came out strong in the third period and outshot Atlanta by nine in the final frame as it tried to claw back.

Matt Finn closed the gap to just one goal less than nine minutes into the final period of regulation. With Florida cycling in the offensive zone, Blake Winiecki carried the puck up the right-wing wall and fired a cross-ice pass through the left circle. After the puck bounced off the far wall, Finn gathered it in the left circle and hammered a shot past Bonar to cut the deficit in half at the 8:10 mark of the third.

Florida then pulled Phillips in the last two minutes and had several quality chances to tie the game, but Bonar stood tall to preserve the win for Atlanta.

Phillips finished with 25 saves and fell to 17-6-2-0 on the year.

Florida will try to close the weekend with a victory when it faces the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

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Single-game tickets for all regular season home games are on sale now!

Ticket packages for the 2018-19 season are still on sale! Become part of the Everblades Family with a Partial Season or a Flexible Voucher Package that fits your schedule and budget! All Ticket & Voucher Packages provide savings and special benefits!

SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new ticket package for the 2018-19 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford's Garage and an Everblades tote bag!

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Images from this story

Florida Everblades forward Michael Neville handles the puck against the Atlanta Gladiators
Florida Everblades forward Michael Neville handles the puck against the Atlanta Gladiators

(Kevin Bires Photography)
  

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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