The Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL will have fan appreciation night on April 7 when they host the South Carolina Stingrays at the Infinite Energy Arena. There will be many giveaways throughout the evening and the Gladiators will auction off game worn third jerseys right off the players backs!
The game could have huge playoff implications. The Gladiators are currently four points back of the Stingrays for the final playoff spot in the South Division. However the Gladiators have four games in hand. South Carolina has a record of 32 wins, 30 regulation losses, five overtime losses and one shootout loss for 70 points. Atlanta has a record of 28 wins, 26 regulation losses, seven overtime losses and three shootout losses for 66 points.
Two players currently lead the Gladiators in scoring with 45 points. Nick Bligh has 24 goals and 21 assists and Derek Nesbitt has 17 goals and 28 assists. The Stingrays leading scorer is Andrew Cherniwchan, who has 27 goals and 36 assists for 63 points. Cherniwchan is currently fifth in the ECHL scoring.
The Gladiators have three wins in the last 11 days. On March 13, the Gladiators beat the Stingrays 4-3 in a dramatic 11-round shootout. The Gladiators got goals in the shootout from Brett McKenzie and Alex Overhardt. It was also a great comeback for the Gladiators as they once trailed the Stingrays 3-0 in the second period. Zach Malatesta led the Gladiators in scoring with two assists.
The Gladiators next win came on St. Patrick's Day when they beat the Norfolk Admirals 2-1. Nick Bligh scored the game winning goal for the Gladiators at 11:42 of the third period from Derek Nesbitt to break a 1-1 tie. Then on March 23, the Gladiators scored twice in the last four minutes to come from behind and beat the Kansas City Mavericks 4-3. It was a great game for Nesbitt as he had two goals and one assist for three points.
The Gladiators have also signed four players recently. Center Jared Ross signed with the Gladiators on March 13. In nine games with Atlanta, Ross has one goal and three assists for four points. Ross also has 13 games of National Hockey League experience under his belt with the Philadelphia Flyers from 2008 to 2010.
On March 20, the Gladiators signed forward Brady Fleurent from the University of New England of NCAA Division III and defenseman Tyler Andrews of St. Norbert College. In 30 games with the University of New England Nor'easters, Fleurent had 13 goals and 35 assists for 48 points. In 31 games with the St. Norbert College Green Knights, Andrews had two goals and five assists for seven points. Then on March 22, the Gladiators re-signed defenseman Sean Campbell, who has played 32 games in the ECHL this season with the Gladiators, Reading Royals and Maine Mariners.
Get your tickets to see the Atlanta Gladiators and the South Carolina Stingrays on April 7 at the Infinite Energy Arena today!