IceMen's Playoff Push Continues against Atlanta
The Jacksonville Icemen (23-32-4-3, 53 pts) continue their most important three-game stretch of the 2017-18 season, presented by Community First Credit Union, tonight on the road against the Atlanta Gladiators (29-32-1-2, 61 pts). An Icemen win and an Admirals loss tonight moves Jacksonville into fifth in the South Division before Norfolk and Jacksonville face off tomorrow afternoon in another critical matchup.
There's no doubt that the Gladiators will be hungry for revenge following a poor showing in a 4-1 loss to Jacksonville on Thursday. One area of focus for Atlanta tonight will definitely be the power play. On Thursday, the Gladiators had seven man advantage chances, but converted on none of the opportunities. It will be interesting to see if the home team goes with Dan Vladar again or puts Sean Bonar in the crease. Bonar has been a challenge for the Icemen this season, winning three games and posting a 2.17 GAA and .917 SV%.
Aside from taking seven penalties, Thursday couldn't have gone any better for the Icemen. They know that they're going to face a more physical, attacking Gladiators club tonight in the final meeting between the two teams this season. In order to secure another two points tonight, Jacksonville is going to need another big evening from its forwards. Jimmy Lodge continued to get production against this Atlanta club on Thursday, tallying three assists. Lodge brings 13 points in 10 games against the Gladiators into tonight's game, the most on the team. In net, Austin Lotz will face a big challenge against the Gladiators who are sure to put more shots on goal than the 34 they posted on Thursday.
Catch all the action live on ECHL TV tonight at 7:05 p.m. as the Icemen and Gladiators battle in Atlanta.
Jacksonville Icemen: 23-32-4-3 (6th in South division)
Atlanta Gladiators: 29-32-1-2 (4th in South division)
Icemen: 24/249 - 9.6% (27th in ECHL)
Gladiators: 34/250 - 13.6% (25th in ECHL)
Icemen: 230/278 - 82.7% (15th in ECHL)
Gladiators: 216/262 - 82.4% (19th in ECHL)
Players to Watch:
#27 F Matt Ustaski (JAX)
2G, 0A - 2 Pts, -1 Rating
Tonight will be the newcomer's fourth pro game, but he's proven his worth already. Ustaski brings a two-game goal streak into tonight, and another goal tonight would be huge.
#29 F Phil Lane (ATL)
29G, 22A - 51 Pts, +4 Rating
Lane leads the Gladiators with seven goals against Jacksonville this season, including Atlanta's lone goal on Thursday.
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