Providence Adds Six to Atlanta's Roster
DULUTH, Ga. - The Atlanta Gladiators announced on Monday that the Providence Bruins of the AHL have loaned defenseman Olivier Galipeau, forward Brett McKenzie and assigned defenseman Joel Messner to Atlanta. In addition, the P-Bruins have released goalie Sean Bonar, defenseman Zach Malatesta and forward Tyler Deresky from their try-out contracts and all three will now report to the Gladiators.
Galipeau, 21, joins the Gladiators to start his pro career after registering three assists in four games while helping the Acadie-Bathurst Titan to the Memorial Cup Championship last spring. During an accolade-filled final season in the QMJHL, the Montreal, PQ native won the QMJHL Championship, the Memorial Cup Championship, the QMJHL Defenseman of the Year (Emile Bouchard Trophy), and a QMJHL First Team All-Star. Split between the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Acadie-Bathurst Titan, the 6-foot, 203-pound D-man notched 74 points (25g, 59a) and a plus-39 rating and added 20 points (5g, 15a) in 20 playoffs games. The offensive defender led the QMJHL in goals (25) and points (74) by a defenseman. In 308 QMJHL games, Galipeau accumulated 180 points (51g, 129a) and a plus-89 rating and served as captain for Val-d'Or (2015-2017) and Chicoutimi (2017).
McKenzie, 21, closed his OHL career out with 16 points (8g, 8a) in just 11 playoff games for the Owen Sound Attack. The former Vancouver Canucks draft pick tallied 49 points (22g, 27a) in 64 games last season split between the North Bay Battalion and Owen Sound. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound center earned his best OHL season in 2016-17 when he amassed 67 points (29g, 38a) in 67 games for North Bay. The Ottawa, ON native served as alternate captain for the Battalion from 2016-2018.
Messner, 24, completed a four-year stint at the University of Nebraska-Omaha last season. During his senior year, the Lorette, MB native was named team Captain and set career highs in goals (5), assists (18) and points (23) in 36 games. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound defender totaled 42 points (7g, 35a) and a plus-12 rating in 135 games for the Mavericks.
Bonar, 27, returns to Atlanta after leading the team in goals-against-average (2.69), save percentage (.920) and shutouts (3) last season. In 29 games played with the Gladiators in 2017-18, the Delta, BC resident earned a record of 13-10-1 and stopped 38 of 41 shots in an overtime loss to Florida in his one playoff appearance. His three shutouts tied him for fifth-most among all goalies in the ECHL. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound goalie appeared in two preseason games for the P-Bruins during training camp.
Malatesta, 21, skated in 36 games and accumulated 11 points (1g,10a) in his first year as a pro, for the Gladiators last season, before a lower-body injury ended his rookie campaign. At the time of his injury, the hard-hitting defenseman led the Gladiators rookie defenders in points and ranked third overall amongst the team's D-core. Prior to the start of his professional career, the Boston, MA native played three full seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). In 191 games for the Moncton Wildcats and Acadie-Bathurst Titan, the 5-foot-9, 183-pound defender totaled 92 points (25g, 67a) and a +18 rating. Malatesta re-signed with Atlanta on July 17th.
Deresky, 25, registered 11 points (5g, 6a) in 29 games for the ECHL's Rapid City Rush. The Flemington, NJ native began his rookie campaign in the SPHL for Jeff Pyle's Evansville Thunderbolts and earned 14 points (8g, 6a) in 18 games played. Over the course of four seasons at the NCAA's Bentley University, the 6-foot, 205-pound forward amassed 34 points (14g, 20a) in 131 games played.
In non-related transactions, forward Zac Sikich and defenseman Alfred Johansson have been released from their PTOs.
The 16th season of Atlanta Gladiators hockey begins at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, October 19th against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:35 PM. For ticket information, visit the official team website at www.atlantagladiators.com or call the main office line at 770-497-5100.
The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation's premier "AA" hockey league. All home games are played at the 10,867-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth - where parking is always free. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for affordable and family-friendly sports entertainment and consistently ranked as one of the top "Things To Do" in the Atlanta area and across the North Georgia region.
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