The Jacksonville Icemen outshot the Gladiators for the second straight game, but were unable to score more than a goal, as the Gladiators took the win, 4-1. Jimmy Lodge scored in back-to-back games for the third time in the 2017-18 season.
For the second straight game, Lodge wasted little time getting on the scoresheet. Just 79 seconds into Friday’s contest, Lodge picked up the puck in the neutral zone and skated in all alone on Dan Vladar. Lodge made several dekes before beating Vladar glove side for the early Icemen lead. The Gladiators would get two power plays in the first 20 minutes, but the penalty kill stood strong and the Icemen had the lead when the horn sounded.
Once again, the Gladiators would rally in the second period. It started right before the halfway mark in the frame when Colin Jacobs’ shot was initially stopped by Lotz, but the puck’s momentum carried it into the back of the net. As the teams lined up for the final faceoff of the period, it appeared that the game would be tied after 40 minutes. However, the Gladiators won the draw and quickly fired a few shots on goal before Ben Danford put the puck past Lotz with just .2 seconds remaining. Atlanta would carry a 2-1 lead into the third period for the second straight night.
Jacksonville outshot Atlanta, 11-4, in the third period, but there would be no comeback. Phil Lane received the puck in the slot on a three-on-one advantage and fired one past Lotz. Late in the game, Tanner Pond sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 45 seconds remaining.
The Icemen conclude Hockey Fights Cancer Weekend Saturday night against the South Carolina Stingrays at 7:30 p.m.