Mike Pelech poured in two goals and an assist to lead the Gladiators, while Derek Nesbitt contributed a goal and an assist to the winning effort.
Orlando started the scoring early in the first period on a Luke Boka power-play goal to take the Solar Bears up 1-0.
The Gladiators evened the game, 1-1 when Cody Sylvester skated past defenders and sent the puck over to Pelech, who was able to get it into the goal, marking his fifth on the season.
Atlanta went up 2-1 when a shot from Sylvester led to a rebound shot to Pelech for his second goal of the night. Under a minute later, the Gladiators went up 3-1 on a spin move from Elijah Vilio that led to a backhand goal for his third goal of the season.
Early in the second period, it was Pelech again with the puck, but this time he flipped it to Nesbitt, who blasted it into the goal to take the Gladiators up 4-1.
Orlando came back under a minute later when the Solar Bears’ Kyle Topping was able to find the net and make the score 4-2. The Solar Bears landed another goal later in the second period when Aaron Luchuk was able to land a goal to make it 4-3.
Late in the third period, the Solar Bears put pressure on Atlanta, but before Orlando was able to tie the game, Luke Nogard was able to steal the puck and land it in the Solar Bears’ goal to seal the 5-3 victory for the Gladiators.
Atlanta goalkeeper Tyler Parks finished the night with 27 saves on 30 shots and earned his 11th win of the season. Atlanta’s record increased to 12-11-2 with the victory.
The Gladiators play next on Wednesday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena against the Jacksonville Icemen at 7 pm in what will be Derek Nesbitt’s 1000th professional game.
The Atlanta Gladiators are the ECHL affiliates of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators and the AHL’s Belleville Senators. They play home games at Gas South Arena in Duluth, Ga. The Orlando Solar Bears are affiliated with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.
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