For the final time in the 2017-18 season, presented by Community First Credit Union, the Jacksonville Icemen (16-26-3-3, 38 pts) host the Atlanta Gladiators (25-23-1-2, 53 pts) tonight at 7:30 p.m.
The Gladiators have been a challenge for the Icemen this season, winning seven of eight games. During this dominant stretch, Atlanta has successfully used both goaltenders against Jacksonville. Dan Vladar is undefeated against the Icemen, posting a 2.09 GAA and .926 SV%. Backup Sean Bonar has similar numbers, winning three games and owning a 2.17 GAA and .917 SV%.
On Feb, 2, the last time these two teams faced off, the Icemen struggled offensively. Jimmy Lodge tallied the lone goal early in the first period and the Icemen fell, 4-1. However, the team’s starting to heat up offensively, starting with Elgin Pearce. In Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Greenville, Pearce registered the primary assist on each Icemen goal. Brendan Collier stepped up late in the game with two goals, including the game-winner. Jacksonville will need production throughout the lineup tonight as they take on the third-best team in the South Division.
A key to tonight’s game will be playing from ahead. The Icemen will be at an advantage if they can keep all the pressure on the Gladiators during the entire 60 minutes. Atlanta is a dismal 1-10-0-1 on the road when trailing after two periods. That’s something Jacksonville needs to use in their favor.
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Jacksonville Icemen: 16-26-3-3 (7th in South division)
Atlanta Gladiators: 25-23-1-2 (3rd in South division)
Icemen: 19/198 – 9.6% (27th in ECHL)
Gladiators: 28/197 – 14.2% (23rd in ECHL)
Icemen: 172/210 – 81.9% (17th in ECHL)
Gladiators: 167/203 – 81.8% (18th in ECHL)
Players to Watch:
#14 F Jimmy Lodge (JAX)
12G, 18A – 30 Pts, +17 Rating
In eight games against the Gladiators, Lodge leads the team with 10 points (5g-5a). He has scored in the past two meetings.
#11 F Ben Danford (ATL)
10G, 23A – 33 Pts, 0 Rating
Danford has eight points (3g-5a) against Jacksonville this season, second best on his team.