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January jostling: the Everblades outlast the Gladiators 5-3

Preview: Florida Everblades (13-10-4, 30 points/10th place) vs Atlanta Gladiators (11-18-0, 22 points/14th place)

2024 is here!

For the Atlanta Gladiators, they open 2024 with 3 consecutive home games in the next 5 days, starting with tonight's game (January 3, 2024 at 7pm) at the Gas South District. They host the Florida Everblades, who are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. On offense, Sean Josling (8 goals/10 assists/18 points), Oliver Chau (7 goals/11 assists/18 points), and Joe Pendenza (6 goals/12 assists/18 points) lead the Florida offensive attack.

Looking to snap their current 2-8-0 stretch over their last 10 games, the Glads look to ECHL All-Star selection Mitch Fossier (10 goals/18 assists/28 points) and Cody Sylvester (7 goals/12 assists/19 points) to set the tone for the Glads' offense.

Speaking of tone setters coming into the new year, forward Ryan Cranford, who is in his 1st year with the Gladiators, speaks to us for our pregame interview. His insight on getting off to a fast start for tonight's game and continued focus are central to his talk with us:

Game recap:

The Everblades get in the scoring column first (1st period, 5:17). Bobo Carpenter's 11th goal of the season (assisted by Kyle Neuber) evades the efforts of Glads' goaltender Gustavs Grigals. However, Atlanta would strike back with a goal of their own to even the score at 1 (1st period, 6:02) thanks to Jackson Pierson's 7th goal of the season (assisted by Ryan Cranford [our pregame interview] and Jacob Graves).

In the second period, Florida would light the red light as they take a 2-1 lead (7:35) on Joe Pendenza's 7th goal of the season (assisted by Andrew Fyten and Stanislav Demin). And right on cue, the Glads would respond a little over a minute later (8:47) to tie the game at 2 on Mitch Walinski's 3rd goal of the season (assist by Jackson Pierson).

Florida would open the 3rd period just as they did in the first two, as they'd take a 3-2 lead. Sean Josling's 8the goal of the year (1:03 in the period) is assisted by Cam Hausinger and Oliver Chau.

And yet again, the Glads would respond less than a minute later. Reece Vitelli would score at the 1:18 mark to tie the game (with his 5th goal of the season, as Navrin Mutter would get the assist).

The Everblades would retake the lead (4-3) thanks to Bobo Carpenter's 2nd goal of the game (12th of the season, with an assist by Brett Davis at the 13:10 mark of the 3rd period). Florida would seal the deal with an empty-net goal (as Atlanta pulled the goaltender for an extra skater) at the 19:22 mark of the 3rd period, as Carpenter would record a hat trick (3 goals in the game and his 13th overall [unassisted]) to record a 5-3 win over the Gladiators (as they'd outshoot Atlanta 44-33 for the game).

Notes: Video is compiled by Andrew Snorton via CCSLLC. Photography is provided by EmoryRose Photography. The Gladiators return to the ice on January 5, 2024 as they host the Florida Everblades in a rematch during their current homestand at the Gas South District.


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