Neiley, Neiley, Neiley, Helps Glads Conquer Icemen

Photo from the Atlanta Gladiators final home game of the regular season 5-3 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen on Saturday April 9, 2022 at Gas South Arena.


Atlanta fell for the second straight night in a 4-1 loss to Jacksonville Friday night.

Tonight the home team returned to the Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians Home Ice at Gas South Arena to finish the final regular season home game against the Jacksonville Icemen on Star Wars night.

Midway through the first period Atlanta Eric Neiley scored the first goal, assisted by Derek Nesbitt.

Minutes later Atlanta assaulted the net, and took a 2-0 lead with Paul McAvoy scoring the second goal, marking McAvoy’s first professional goal with Atlanta.


Jacksonville slashed the deficit to 2-1 midway through the first period after Craig Martin found the back of the net to score the first goal of the night.

At the first intermission the Glads held on to a 2-1 lead.

Atlanta wasted no time taking control of the second period, Glads Captain Derek Nesbitt hit the back of the net.

The Glads struck again with Eric Neiley scoring another goal.

Late in the 2nd frame the Icemen Jacob Friend found the back of the net and the Icemen trailed by 2 points.

Atlanta brought their first-period energy to the final period, with Eric Neiley netting his 3rd goal of the night.

Meanwhile there was multiple fights, starting with Glads Gabe Guertler and Icemen Ben Hawerchuk dropping their gloves. Guertler brought Hawerchuck down to the ice. Both players received fighting major penalties. Atlanta’s Malcolm Hayes and Jacksonville’s Ian McKinnon both picked up fighting majors along with game misconduct continuing altercation which ended with Hayes being ejected from the match.

With a few minutes left in the final period Icemen Abbott Girduckis scored a shorthanded goal narrowing the scoring gap to 2 points.

In the end the force was with the Gladiators and the Icemen could not recover. Atlanta skated away with a 5-3 victory.

Atlanta is tied for second in the league with 24 home wins this season. No team has more third-period comebacks than the Gladiators this season. Tonight’s match will be the last of 11 meetings between the two teams this season. Atlanta holds a strong advantage in the season series with a 6-3-0-1 record against Jacksonville in the previous 10 meetings.

Atlanta goaltender Chris Nell finished the night saving 30 of 33 shots in his direction.

Up Next: The Gladiators head on the road to take on the Florida Everblades at Hertz Arena on Friday night. Puck drops at 7:30 PM.