Gladiators Route Cyclones with 5-2 Win
The Gladiators opened the scoring early, getting on the board 1:20 into the first period. Tyler Murovich gathered the puck behind the Cyclones net and centered it to Mike Merrifield who sent the puck over Cincinnati goaltender Brandon Whitney. The Michigan native notched his fourth goal of the year while Murovich was credited with his eighth assist of the season.
Brock Higgs doubled the home team's lead just over two minutes later during the Gladiators first powerplay. Garry Nunn found an open Matt Register who sent a slap shot from the left point that ricocheted off of Higgs and found its way into the net. The Kingston, ON native's 11th goal marks the fifth consecutive game with a powerplay goal for Atlanta, and gave Register his 17th point in his last 15 games.
Atlanta stayed perfect on the powerplay as Derek Nesbitt scored 8:24 into the second period. Register sent a pass across the Cyclones zone to Nesbitt who wristed it home for the 18th goal of the season and a 3-0 Gladiator lead. Nunn and Register were both given their second assists of the night on the play.
Justin Buzzeo and J.T. Barnett would increase the Gladiators lead to 5-0 with two goals in under one minute. Murovich tallied his second assist after centering the puck to Buzzeo from behind the opposing goal for score number four, while Barnett was able to capitalize on a rebounded puck in front of net for tally number five. Murovich, Patrick D'Amico, Higgs and Merrifield all recorded assists on the two plays.
Cincinnati cut the Gladiator lead back to four with just over five minutes left in the second frame. Zach Budish backhanded a rebounded puck that was initially saved by Gladiators goaltender, Matt Ginn, to make the score 5-1. The goal gives the Minnesota native his 12th goal and 25th point of the season.
The Cyclones would get another goal with only 40 seconds remaining in the game from Cody Carlson but that was not enough for a comeback as they would fall to the Gladiators by the score of 5-2. With their 20th win of the season, Atlanta improved to 42 points on the campaign and jumped to fifth place in the ECHL's Eastern Conference. In the road loss, the Cyclones fall to 15-12-2-2 and remained at 34 points.
Atlanta continues their season-long seven game homestand this Friday, January 8th at 7:35 P.M. vs. the Alaska Aces in a rematch of the 2005-06 ECHL Kelly Cup Finals.
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Atlanta Gladiators vs. the Cincinnati Cyclones
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ECHL Stories from January 6, 2016
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