ESTERO, Fla. — The Atlanta Gladiators scored twice on the power play in the last seven minutes of regulation to skate to a 3-1 win over the Florida Everblades on Tuesday afternoon at Infinite Energy Arena, stopping the Everblades’ point streak at 12 games.
Playing for the fifth time in seven days, Florida (33-12-3-2, 71 pts.) scored the first goal of the game, but Atlanta goaltender Callum Booth stopped the other 34 shots he saw to send Florida to its first regulation loss since Jan. 11.
Blake Winiecki opened the scoring for the Everblades off a great passing sequence in the offensive zone. On a cycle in deep, Lukas Craggs found Hunter Garlent in the right circle, and Garlent spun and located a wide-open Winiecki at the left side of the net. Winiecki deposited the puck into the goal for his 22nd strike of the season with 3:11 left in the first.
Atlanta (21-25-1-1, 44 pts.) managed to tie the game in the last minute of the first period on its first power play of the game. Samuel Asselin skated down the left-wing into the ‘Blades zone, and he snuck a shot under the left arm of Florida netminder Ken Appleby from the left circle.
The Gladiators took advantage of a five-on-three power play to surge ahead by two goals late in the game. Logan Nelson beat Appleby over his glove with a shot from the left circle at 6:13 of the third period, and Avery Peterson scored just 33 seconds later on the ensuing five-on-four power play to put Atlanta up two.
Appleby made 29 saves in his first regulation loss since Jan. 11 and yielded more than two goals for the first time since Jan. 15.
- The ‘Blades suffered just their fourth regulation loss of the season when scoring the first goal of the game. Florida is now 20-4-0-1 when it records the first goal.
- The ‘Blades dropped to 2-1-0 in the three matchups against Atlanta this year and fell in regulation against the Gladiators for only the fourth time in the tenure of head coach Brad Ralph (32-4-0-1).
- The Everblades’ 12-game point streak (11-0-1-0) finished as the second-longest in the ECHL this season and was just four games shy of the longest streak, South Carolina’s 16-game run.
- Winiecki’s goal was his fourth in his last three games and moved his goal streak to three contests.
NEXT UPFlorida gets two more shots at Atlanta this week, hosting the Gladiators on Friday and Saturday at Hertz Arena. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and AHL's Milwaukee Admirals