Gladiators rack up seven goals in win over Admirals | national

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DULUTH — The Atlanta Gladiators edged the Norfolk Admirals 7-3 at Gas South Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Elijah Vilio, Eric Neiley and Derek Topatigh each scored a goal, while Derek Nesbitt and Kameron Kielly netted two each in the win.

Atlanta (18-14-2-1) opened the scoring early in the first period to take a 1-0 lead after Vilio recovered the puck following an Atlanta win and fired a shot hit from the left point past Norfolk goalkeeper Austin Lotz (3:04).

The Gladiators took a 2-0 lead midway through the first period after combined play from Mitchell Hoelscher and Kielly. Hoelscher deke past a defender on a breakaway opportunity and sent it to Kielly in front of the net who passed it past Lotz for a shorthanded goal (12:10)

Norfolk (12-18-1-1) cut the deficit to 2-1 after Alex Tonge found the string on an Admirals power play opportunity.

The Gladiators regained a two-goal lead early in the second period when Tim Davison fired a wrist shot from the right point and Nesbitt tossed it out of the air and into the net to make it 3-1 ( 2:16).

Midway through the second period, Blake Murray made it 3-2 after retrieving the puck from the low slot and putting it away (10:59).

Less than a minute later, the Gladiators responded with another goal to make it 4-2 after Mike Pelech threw the disc to Neiley at the blue line who skated down the left wing and sent a wrist in the upper right corner (11:41).

Atlanta increased their lead to 5-2 as time ended on a power play chance early in the third period. Cody Sylvester sent the puck into the low notch to Nesbitt on the left wing who blasted it past Lotz for his second goal of the afternoon (4:25).

Norfolk conceded midway through the third period to make it 5-3 after Kyle Rhodes scored from right wing (9:00).

After two Admirals penalties, the Gladiators scored immediately after a five-on-three power play midway through the third period when Topatigh lasered the puck into the net to make it 6-3 (11:32).

A minute later, Atlanta scored again to make it 7-3 when Kamerin Nault netted his first point of the season after feeding the puck into the low slot to Kielly, who put it in the back of the net for his second count of the afternoon. (12:18).

Goaltender Tyler Parks finished the afternoon with 37 saves on 40 shots for Atlanta. The Gladiators outshot the Admirals 55-40 in the game and 28-10 in the third period. Seven goals tied Atlanta’s season high and the 55 shots set a new season high.

The Gladiators return to action Monday at 12:30 p.m. against the Florida Everblades (19-9-3-3) at Gas South Arena.

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