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School's in session: the Gladiators win a 4-3 shootout over the Jacksonville Icemen on the Education Day game

Preview: Jacksonville Icemen (3rd place in the Eastern Conference at 33-15-4/70 points) vs the Atlanta Gladiators (14th place in the Eastern Conference at 17-35-2/37 points)

With a mid-morning dropping of the puck (February 28, 2024 at 10:30am EST at the Gas South District), the Atlanta Gladiators host the Jacksonville Icemen for a special Education Day faceoff.

In looking at making a push for 1st place in the Eastern Conference (as they 3 points out of 1st place), Brendan Harris (16 goals/32 assists/48 points) and Christopher Brown (18 goals/29 assists/47 points) lead the Jacksonville offensive attack as they look to win a game on the road. Atlanta counters with leading scorer Micah Miller (21 goals/16 assists/37 points), as he's one of 3 players on the Glads' active roster with 30 or more points; they'll look to protect home ice in a key matchup for potential playoff positioning (Jacksonville) along with moving up the standings (as the team ahead of Atlanta, their in-state rivals [Savannah Ghost Pirates]), are 6 points ahead of them in the standings.

Game recap:

The Gladiators get off to a fast start by scoring in the 1st period. Jackson Pierson's 13th goal of the season comes on the team's power play (2:57 with assists by Luke Prokop and Robert Calisti) for an early 1-0 lead.

However, the Icemen would strike back 6 seconds later on Matheson Iacopelli's 18th goal of the season (3:03 assisted by Logan Cockerill and Brendan Harris). Jacksonville would take a 2-1 lead just before the end of the 1st period on a goal by Christopher Brown (19th) at the 19:58 mark of the 1st period (just before the period ends) with an assist by Ivan Chuckarov.

Both teams' defenses rise to the occasion as both teams are held without a goal.

At the 5:57 mark of the 3rd period, Jacksonville would add a goal to give them a 3-1 lead.. Derek Lodermeier's 9th goal of the season (unassisted) gives the Icemen some breathing room at a key juncture in the period.

The Gladiators gets back into the game thanks to their 2nd power play goal of the game.

Robert Calisti's 9th goal of the season (assisted by Jackson Pierson and Reece Vitelli) at the 10:20 mark of the 3rd period halts Jacksonville's 3 unanswered goal stretch to get Atlanta within a goal of tying the game (trailing 3-2).

At the 14:26 mark (3rd period), the Glads tie the game via a shorthanded goal (3-3). Reece Vitelli's unassisted goal (9th of the season) on the penalty kill gets Atlanta back into the game with their 2nd goal in a row.

As a result, the game goes to overtime (3 on 3 play). Both teams have some opportunities, but the game remains deadlocked at 3, forcing a shootout between the teams. After both teams' first attempts fail, the Gladiators' Micah Miller's shootout goal gives the team a 1-0 advantage, only to have the Icemens' Matheson Iacopelli tie it. However, Reece Vitelli's shootout goal in the very next series gives Atlanta a 2-1 advantage, and a great play by Glads' goaltender Gustavs Grigals preserves the win.

During postgame, Atlanta's Dylan Carabia (defense) and winning goalie Gustavs Grigals (who saves 50 of 53 shots), speak to the team 's winner effort. Despite being outshot 53 to 34, the Glads' special teams play a major role in their win. They go 2 for 4 on the power play and penalty kill on all power play opportunities by Jacksonville (keeping them 0 for 3), including Robert Calisti's shorthanded goal.

The Glads return to action at the Gas South District on March 2, 2024 (7pm) as they'll don the Atlanta Thrashers uniforms for their next game.

Notes: All photos and video are recorded via CCS LLC (click HERE to visit the Youtube playlist); the postgame interviews include opening questions from the Atlanta Gladiators as well as from our media outlet.


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