NORFOLK, VA. - Eric Neiley scored twice for the Atlanta Gladiators (9-9-1-1) as they ate up the Norfolk Admirals (2-10-3-0) 4-1 on Thursday night. All five Admirals touched the puck on Norfolk's first tally of the night, coming courtesy of John Dunbar with 10:00 left in the first. Newcomer Cody Bradley won a neutral zone faceoff and play quickly transitioned up ice thanks to ample work from Alex Pompeo and Aaron Harstad. Two touches later, Bradley shuffled the rubber to MacNeil and then in tight to Dunbar, who buried to earn his third in just six games with the Admirals. The home side would strike twice in the second to take the lead though, beginning with a power play tally from Eric Neiley. Blake Kessel's initial shot from the point got through traffic but wasn't able to be completely covered by Connor Knapp, therefore leaving the rebound for Neiley's 11th of the season for Atlanta. Prior to the next Gladiator tally, Gabriel Verpaelst earned yet another fighting major this season, squaring up with Patrick McCadden after #27 lowered a monstrous hit on Shane Bakker. It was Verpaelst's sixth fighting major of the season. Moments later Atlanta took a 2-1 lead though when Justin Buzzeo fluttered a beautiful saucer pass across the neutral zone to find a streaking Drew Baker, who then unleashed a cannon past the blocker side of Connor Knapp. Brock Higgs received a secondary assist on the Atlanta goal as well, now giving him 20 (and eventually 21) assists on the season, tops in the ECHL. A scary scene occurred in the third period of the game when Admirals defensemen Anthony Calabrese had to be helped off the ice on a stretcher as a result of a boarding major from Gladiators forward Tyler Murovich. Murovich was assessed a game misconduct on top of the original penalty. After the game Calabrese was announced in stable condition. More updates will be provided as they become available. Neiley's impressive night on the score sheet would continue following the injury however, as he used his backhand to beat Knapp on the blocker side to extend the Gladiators lead to two. Brock Higgs distributed the drop pass to Neiley, again extending his league lead in helpers. The extra plate of desert for Atlanta would come with just 1:31 left in the game, when Blake Kessel found an empty four-by-six shorthanded. It would be the final tally of the night, completing the feast for Atlanta, 4-1. Atlanta and Norfolk will go back at it tomorrow night with a special black Friday start of 6:05. For more information on the team, check out the team's website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. (Slider Photo Credit: Atlanta Gladiatros / Taylor Trebotte) Box Score
Neiley Feasts As Gladiators Gobble Admirals
Wednesday, November 23rd
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