Vilio Records Hat Trick in Glads Victory
DULUTH, Ga. - The Atlanta Gladiators (19-14-2-1) defeated the Florida Everblades (19-10-3-3) by a score of 4-2 at Gas South Arena on the Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians Home Ice on Monday afternoon. Rookie Elijah Vilio notched a hat trick in the final frame to give Atlanta the win.
First Star: Elijah Vilio- three goals
Second Star: Mitchell Hoelscher- three assists
Third Star: Kameron Kielly- goal, assist
After a scoreless first frame, the Glads struck first on the afternoon early in the second period after Mitchell Hoelscher collected the puck from behind the net and found Kameron Kielly in the low slot who fired a one-timer past Florida goaltender Tomas Vomacka to make it 1-0 (0:21).
The Everblades tied the game at 1-1 early in the second period after Chris Mckay scored off a wrister through heavy traffic (3:14).
Atlanta's Josh Thrower dropped the gloves with Florida's Jake Kearley midway through the second period when Kearley fired a shot towards Chris Nell after the whistle was blown. The brawl ended with Thrower landing some huge right hands, dropping Kearley down to the ice and both players receiving fighting majors.
Florida took a 2-1 advantage in the final seconds of the second period after John McCarron scored a shorthanded goal (19:58).
Atlanta leveled the game at 2-2 early in the third period after Elijah Vilio fired a slap shot from the high slot past Vomacka to capitalize on a power-play opportunity for his fifth goal of the season (1:39).
Less than a minute after the goal, Mike Turner dropped the gloves with Nathan Perkovich. The fight ended with Turner landing several right hands, sending Perkovich down to his knees and both players receiving fighting majors.
The Glads took a 3-2 lead midway through the third period after some a shorthanded play in front of the net between Mike Pelech and Elijah Vilio. Mitchell Hoelscher stripped an Everblades player at the Atlanta blue line and sent it up to Pelech. The veteran carried the puck the length of the ice and found Vilio on the opposite side of the net who slotted away a shorthanded goal for his second tally of the afternoon (6:48).
Elijah Vilio sealed the 4-2 victory late in the third period with an empty-net goal to complete the first hat trick of the season for the Gladiators as well as the first of his professional career (19:37).
Goaltender Chris Nell finished the afternoon with 35 saves on 37 shots for Atlanta.
The Gladiators take the ice again Friday night at 7:30 PM against the Florida Everblades (19-10-3-3) at Hertz Arena.
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