DULUTH, Ga. – In each period, the Florida Everblades scored early, but the Atlanta Gladiators answered in short order. With less than seven minutes left in the contest, Bobo Carpenter scored for the second time in the game to give the Blades a fourth lead of the night that would hold up the rest of the way. Carpenter would add an empty-net goal to close out his first hat trick as a member of the Everblades and give the resilient Everblades a hard-fought 5-3 victory Wednesday night at Gas South Arena.
The scoring got started just 5:17 into the contest, as Carpenter fired home the Everblades’ first goal of 2024, burying a feed from Kyle Neuber from the top of the slot for his team-high 11th marker of the season. Atlanta responded less than a minute later as Jackson Pierson leveled matters at 1-1 at the 6:02 mark, a score that would hold into the first intermission.
Just like the first period, both teams would light the lamp in the middle frame. The Everblades struck first in the second, as Joe Pendenza registered his seventh goal of the season, firing into an open net moments after winning a faceoff in the left circle. Andrew Fyten and Slava Demin picked up the helpers as Florida claimed a 2-1 lead at the 7:35 mark. As was the case in the opening stanza, Atlanta picked up a quick equalizer as Mitch Walinski knotted the score at 2-2 at 8:37 of the middle frame to insure the deadlock would continue into the final period.
Once again, the third period saw the combatants trade early goals coming out of the break. Sean Josling’s eighth tally of the year gave Florida its third lead of the contest, 3-2, at the 1:03 mark, with assists going to Cam Hausinger and Oliver Chau, but Atlanta’s Reece Vitelli tied the game for a third time just 15 seconds later.
The 3-3 deadlock continued deep into the later stages of the third period until Carpenter struck for the second time and gave the Blades their fourth and final lead of the contest with 6:50 to play. Carpenter’s 12th tally of the year came off a faceoff victory by Brett Davis, while his third goal of the game went into an empty net.
Florida outshot Atlanta 44-33, with Evan Cormier (5-4-1-0) making 30 saves and earning the victory. Gustav Grigals (6-9-0-0) made 39 saves and suffered the loss.
The Everblades and Gladiators will be back at it again, squaring off at 7:00 p.m. on Friday before the Blades head to Greenville for a 4:00 p.m. tilt on Saturday. Following the road trip, the Blades will be back in action at Hertz Arena for a three-game set with the Savannah Ghost Pirates that gets underway on Wednesday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. The series will continue on Friday, January 12 and Saturday, January 13 at 7:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively.
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- The Everblades have won all three matchups against the Gladiators this season. The first two victories came by 6-2 and 3-1 counts at Hertz Arena on November 17 and 18, respectively. Those November triumphs came during a 1-14 stretch which followed the Gladiators’ 8-0 start.
- Both teams registered goals in the each of the three periods, making it five straight periods that the Everblades and their opponents found the net.
- Bobo Carpenter’s lid-lifter gave him goals in back-to-back games, while his two third-period goals were his fourth and fifth markers in the past four contests.
- Kyle Neuber picked up his third assist of the year on Carpenter’s goal, his first point since tallying two helpers in his second game back with the Blades this season, a 4-1 triumph over Orlando at Hertz Arena on December 15.
- Joe Pendenza, Andrew Fyten and Cam Hausinger factored into the scoring for the second straight contest, with Pendenza picking up his seventh goal of the year one game removed from tallying his team-high 12th assist, Fyten notching a helper for the second consecutive game, and Hausinger picking up an assists one game removed from scoring his third goal of the 2023-24 campaign.
- Sean Josling’s third-period goal stretched his point streak to six games, as he has registered seven points on five goals and two helpers dating back to December 22 in Savannah.
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