The Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL will have a special teddy bear toss and celebrate Maximus's birthday when they host the Jacksonville Icemen at the Infinite Energy Arena on Jan. 12. For the 16th straight season, fans are encouraged to throw a new or gently used stuffed animal on to the ice after the Gladiators score their first goal of the hockey game. The toys will then be picked up and donated to local hospitals and charities. The Gladiators are trying to encourage fans to break the record from last year when they had 5500 animals thrown on to the ice. It will also be a special day for Maximus, the Gladiators' mascot, who will be celebrating a birthday.
The Gladiators have had some success against the Icemen as of late. On Dec. 20, the Gladiators blanked the Icemen 4-0. Derek Nesbitt and Zach Malatesta each had one goal and one assist for two points, while Sean Bonar made 28 saves for the shutout.
Despite the loss on Dec. 20, the Icemen are in third place in the South Division with a record of 17 wins, 11 regulation losses and one overtime loss for 35 points overall. Their leading scorer is Kris Newbury, who has 27 points (10 goals and 17 assists). The Gladiators leading scorer is Nesbitt, who has seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points.
In Gladiators transaction news, Atlanta acquired forward Bo Brauer from the South Carolina Stingrays for future considerations on Dec. 18. Brauer, who played one season with the Nanaimo Clippers of the British Columbia Hockey League and then four seasons at the University of Notre Dame, played five games for the Stingrays this season and had nine penalty minutes and was a -1. The Gladiators also have Olivier Galipeau back from the Providence Bruins. Galipeau played five games for the Bruins and had one assist. In 14 games with the Gladiators, Galipeau has three goals and seven assists for 10 points.
Get your Tickets to see the Atlanta Gladiators and Jacksonville Icemen on Jan. 12 at the Infinite Energy Arena today!