Glads Kick off Weekend against Top-Ranked Icemen
DULUTH, Ga. - The Atlanta Gladiators (20-15-2-1) welcome the Jacksonville Icemen (22-10-2-1) to Gas South Arena and the Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians Home Ice. The clubs will meet twice this weekend in Duluth, with the second game of the set coming up on Sunday. Atlanta is 2-1-0-1 against Jacksonville so far in the 2021-22 campaign and 2-1-0-0 against the Icemen at Gas South Arena. The Glads have won their last six games at home dating back to Jan. 2 against Florida.
Scouting the Icemen
Jacksonville leads the South Division with a .671 points percentage and are 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 games. The Icemen are a strong road team with a 9-5-2-1 mark away from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Three of Jacksonville's top five scorers have been called up to the AHL, and now Abbott Girduckis leads all Icemen skaters with 25 points (7G-18A). Goaltender Justin Kapelmaster has been strong since signing with the team on Dec. 29. Kapelmaster holds a 3-1-1-0 record with a 1.76 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage since joining Jacksonville.
Last Time Out
Atlanta fell 3-2 to the Florida Everblades at Hertz Arena last Saturday. Mike Pelech and Gabe Guertler each scored shorthanded goals in the first period, but Florida rallied in the third with a pair of unanswered tallies from Avery Peterson and Nathan Perkovich.
The Glads and Icemen last met on Jan. 14 at Gas South Arena, and Atlanta claimed a 2-1 victory in overtime. Elijah Vilio scored the Glads' only goal in regulation, and Mitchell Hoelscher provided the game-winner in the extra frame.
Pelech Pushing for (another) Milestone
Veteran Mike Pelech is two points away from tying Sheldon Gorski for sixth in all-time ECHL points. Last Friday against Florida, Pelech passed Wes Goldie for seventh place all-time with his 606th ECHL point (191G-415A) on a shorthanded goal in the first period. The 32-year-old may be approaching Gorski in sixth, but he is also nearing Chris Valicevic in fifth place with 611 ECHL points. Pelech already ranks second in league history with 805 games played. The forward ranks second on the Gladiators with 31 points (11G-20A) in his 13th professional season and on his 10th ECHL team.
Nesbitt Near 400 Gladiators Points
Captain Derek Nesbitt reigns as Atlanta's all-time scoring leader with 399 Gladiators points (159G-240A) and is one point away from being the first ever Gladiators player to reach the 400-point plateau with the team. Nesbitt is currently in his ninth season with the team and ranks third amongst Atlanta skaters with 26 points (11G-15A). The veteran is also only seven assists away from passing Brett Schell for the lead in all-time Gladiators assists. Schell currently holds the franchise record with 246 helpers. Nesbitt has had a hot stick recently and has scored two goals in two of his last four games.
Hoelscher Recalled to Belleville
Rookie forward Mitchell Hoelscher was recalled to the Belleville Senators in the AHL on Wednesday. Hoelscher had racked up 10 points (3G-7A) in his first six Gladiators games since his loan to Atlanta on Jan. 12. The 21-year-old recorded a point in each of his first six ECHL games, including goals in his first two contests, and back-to-back three-assist games on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17. Hoelscher played two games in Belleville back in November before sustaining a knee injury.
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 PM ET
WHERE: Gas South Arena - Duluth, Ga.
WHO: Atlanta Gladiators vs Jacksonville Icemen
PROMOTION: Kroger Family 4 Pack - Four tickets, four hats, and a $20 Kroger Gift card for $100. Call the Gladiators' front office at 770-497-5100 for more info.
BROADCAST: All Atlanta Gladiators games are broadcast live on the Gladiators Broadcast Network. Listen to the game online at Mixlr.com, or watch the game on FloHockey.TV. Tonight's game will also be aired live on 680 AM The Fan.
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