Armstrong’s Shootout Goal Lifts ‘Blades to 4-3 Win at Atlanta
January 7, 2018
Written by Robert Molnar, Photo courtesy of Taylor Trebotte
DULUTH, GA – Nelson Armstrong scored the game-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout to help lead the Florida Everblades (25-6-1-2, 53 pts) to a 4-3 shootout win over the rival Atlanta Gladiators (16-18-1-2, 35 pts) Sunday afternoon at the Infinite Energy Arena.
Once again the ‘Blades scored early in the contest with a got at 1:38 of the opening period. Brett Bulmer took advantage of a lucky bounce to give the ‘Blades an early 1-0 advantage. Justin Kea fired a shot that would deflect off the stick of a Gladiators defenseman. The deflection would carry the puck right to the stick of Brett Bulmer who quickly roofed his shot top shelf past Atlanta goaltender Sean Bonar.
Darby Llewellyn got Atlanta on the board in the first as he took advantage of a back-and-forth four-on-four opportunity. Llewellyn managed to gain a step on his defenseman, and with a deke move to the backhand, Llewellyn slid his shot past a diving Martin Ouellette and into the net.
The ‘Blades would took a 2-1 lead midway through the second period on a beautiful goal from Michael Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick and Tyler Ganly rushed forward to create a two-on-one opportunity. Calling his own number, Kirkpatrick cruised into the right wing circle before sniping his shot into the top corner of the net.
Atlanta tied the score at 2-2 with less than three-minutes remaining in the middle frame. Taylor Doherty ripped a shot from the point that would carom off the back wall and bounce right to the left side of the crease. Rick Pinkston picked up the loose puck and quickly threw his shot into the net.
Atlanta grabbed their first lead of the game in the third period when Phil Lane converted a penalty shot to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead. Lane took his time moving towards the net. Lane made a couple of deke moves and wristed his shot between the short side post and Martin Ouellette for the goal.
The Everblades attempted to mount a late comeback. Pushing late, the ‘Blades got the goal they were looking for, tying the score at 3-3 with just 35-seconds remaining in regulation. Matt Mackenzie’s shot was re-directed by Mitchell Heard below the right wing circle. Heard angled the puck perfectly into the back of the net past Bonar.
While both the ‘Blades and Gladiators saw their share of goal scoring chances in overtime, neither team could manage to find the game-winning goal, sending the contest to a shootout.
Tied at 2-2 after the first five rounds of the shootout, Nelson Armstrong would follow a sixth-round Martin Ouellette save with a goal of his own to give the ‘Blades a 4-3 shootout victory over the rival Gladiators.
Martin Ouellette was stellar in goal for the Everblades and earns the win after stopping 35 of the 38 shots he faced as well as four of the six shots he faced in the shootout. Sean Bonar also played extremely well in goal for Atlanta, but does suffer the shootout loss after allowing three goals on 38 shots as well as three goals on six shots in the shootout.
The Everblades will now take on the Jacksonville Icemen this Friday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets for the contest can be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
Upcoming Home Games
Friday, January 12, vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m. Faith & Family Night! For every Friday night game this season, kids eat free in the Breakaway Sports Pub with the purchase of an adult entree!
Purchase Single Game Tickets at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or online via Ticketmaster by CLICKING HERE
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