Coming off a loss in Jacksonville this past Saturday, Atlanta made the short trek up I-85 for a big South Division battle in Greenville. Behind multi-point nights from four different Gladiators and a 22 save shutout from Sean Bonar in net, the visitors cruised to a 5-0 victory over the Swamp Rabbits Tuesday night.
For the third straight game, the Gladiators scored the game’s first goal. Colin Jacobs broke into the zone and deked around the last Greenville defender. After the Texas native’s shot was stopped by Ty Rimmer, Darby Llewellyn went to the front of the net and chipped the puck into the goal for his ninth tally of the season. In his first game with Atlanta, Daniel Gentzler notched his first assist earning the secondary helper on the only goal of the first period.
The Gladiators didn’t take long to double their lead at the start of the middle period as the visitors made it a 2-0 game 1:07 into the second. Jacobs skated in front the net and faked a shot a few times. The former Sabres draft pick after out waiting all the Greenville defenders, sent a pass behind the net to Lindsay Sparks. The for University of Michigan standout quickly sent the puck to the front of the goal where Tanner Pond one-timed the puck past a sprawling Rimmer for his 10th tally of the year.
Just over four minutes later Atlanta increased their lead to 3-0. Sparks snuck behind the defense and caught a long pass from Taylor Doherty standing just to the left of the Glads’ net. The Oakville, ON native sped in on a breakaway and beat Rimmer with a wrist shot on the blocker side for his 11th goal of the season. Pond registered his second point on the night with the second assist.
The Gladiators pushed their advantage to 4-0 with their third goal of the period 14:05 into the frame. Drew Baker took a slap shot from the blue-line that was denied by Rimmer but landed right on the stick of Gentzler waiting at the back-post. The Macon Mayhem captain slammed in the rebound for his first goal as a Gladiator and second point of the evening.
Atlanta netted their fifth of the night 7:04 into the final period. Sparks and Pond moved up the ice with give-and-go passing around the Swamp Rabbits. Both earned their third points of the game when Phil Lane finished of the play scoring his team-leading 26th goal of the season.
Greenville would go on to outshoot Atlanta in the third but were unable to get anything past Sean Bonar who completed his third shutout of the season. With the dominating 5-0 road win the Gladiators moved their point total to 55 with a record of 26-24-1-2 improving their cushion over Orlando to seven points in for third place in the South Division. Greenville dropped to 20-25-3-1 and stayed at 44 points on the campaign.
Up next, Atlanta returns home to host the North Division leading Manchester Monarchs for the first time since the 2015-16 season this Friday at 7:35pm at the Infinite Energy Arena.