Nesbitt Leads Atlanta to Victory with Milestone Night
ESTERO, Fla. - The Atlanta Gladiators (20-14-2-1) defeated the Florida Everblades (19-11-3-3) by a score of 5-3 at Hertz Arena on Friday night. Captain Derek Nesbitt netted two goals for the Gladiators, including his 200th ECHL tally. Atlanta withstood 34 penalty minutes in the second period to win its fourth straight game.
First Star: Derek Nesbitt (ATL) - two goals
Second Star: Robert Carpenter (FLA) - goal, assist
Third Star: Cody Sylvester (ATL) - goal, assist
Atlanta's Dalton Thrower was assessed a five-minute charging major in the first period, and Florida cashed in with a power-play goal from Robert Carpenter (8:46).
The Glads were down a man again later in the first period and Derek Nesbitt tied the game on a shorthanded tally that snuck through the legs of Florida's goaltender Parker Gahagen (18:39). The score tied Atlanta for the league lead in shorthanded goals at 13.
To open the second, rookie Mitchell Hoelscher buried his third goal of the season (2:22). On the power play, Mike Turner and Mike Pelech cycled the puck for Hoelscher to net the second tally of the night for the Glads.
Penalties started to plague Atlanta in the second period. Luke Nogard and Josh Thrower were both given five-minute majors and game misconducts in the second, and the Glads surrendered two more power-play goals to Avery Peterson (14:00) and Xavier Bouchard (17:40).
After playing on their heels in the second, the Gladiators took over in the third. Gabe Guertler tied the game in the third period for Atlanta after knocking in a loose puck from the low slot (5:07). Four minutes later, Nesbitt tallied his 200th ECHL goal and his second of the night to put the Glads up 4-3 (9:07). Cody Sylvester hit the empty-netter for Atlanta to seal a 5-3 win (19:04).
Tyler Parks finished his night with 29 saves on 32 shots for the Glads. Atlanta finished the night with a season-high 51 penalty minutes.
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