In a commanding display of offensive prowess, the Atlanta Gladiators (9-5-0-0) sailed on Friday night to a decisive 7-3 triumph over the Savannah Ghost Pirates (4-7-2-1) at Gas South Arena in Duluth, Georgia.
The Three Stars of the game highlighted outstanding individual performances:
1. ATL - Michael Marchesan - 2 Goals, 1 Assist
2. SAV - Simon Pinard - 2 Goals
3. ATL - Alex Whelan - 1 Goal, 3 Assists
The early minutes set the tone for the Gladiators, who swiftly surged ahead with three goals within the first seven minutes of the contest. Mitch Walinski kicked off the scoring, capitalizing on a pass from Alex Whelan to notch his first goal of the season at 3:26. Michael Marchesan extended the lead less than two minutes later with a powerful shot past Savannah netminder Jimmy Poreda at the 5:00 mark. Whelan then showcased his skills, driving into the crease and backhanding a puck home, completing the first-period hat-trick at 6:37.
Savannah's Simon Pinard responded, narrowing the deficit to two just two minutes later at 8:35. In the second frame, the Ghost Pirates capitalized on a power-play opportunity, opening the scoring at 3:59. However, Atlanta quickly reestablished a two-goal lead when Ryan Cranford buried a cross-ice pass from Evan Dougherty at 9:32. Savannah fought back, scoring their second goal of the period at 13:04.
Entering the third period with a narrow lead, Michael Marchesan secured his second goal of the game and third of the season, providing the Gladiators with breathing room at 3:48. With under three minutes left in regulation, Mitch Fossier sealed the victory with an empty-net goal, extending the lead to 6-3 at 17:07. The Gladiators continued their offensive onslaught, with Carson Gicewicz finding the net in the final two minutes of the game at 18:58.
The comprehensive victory showcased the Gladiators' offensive diversity, as six players contributed to the scoring. The team's early dominance and resilience throughout the game solidified their impressive win against the Ghost Pirates, highlighting their potential to be reckoned with in the league.
This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a journalist on the MTMV Sports platform. She is a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, pet mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow her writings as she dives into the latest sports news! You can find her on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.