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Luke Prokop scores his third game-winning goal of the season, leads the league

Prokop’s game-winning shot from the blue line is a thing of beauty.

Luke Prokop, Atlanta Gladiators
Luke Prokop scores his third game-winning goal of the season,
Steven Burroughs / Atlanta Gladiators

Luke Prokop is on fire. The defenseman for the Atlanta Gladiators scored his third game-winning goal of the season last Friday in a 5-3 victory over the Savannah Ghost Pirates in the ECHL.

Prokop has played 19 games for the Gladiators having been moved to the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals for a period midseason.

Prokop is tied for the ECHL lead for most game-winning goals by a defenseman.

The out gay pro hockey player — the only one in North American men’s hockey — has found incredible support from the ECHL, the Gladiators, teammates and fans. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s good at his job.

Prokop said last year that he has encountered no gay slurs while playing the last couple seasons after coming out publicly.

A prospect in the Nashville Predators system, Prokop is already the first publicly out gay athlete in a number of hockey leagues, including the AHL. His dream of one day playing in the NHL is alive and well, and if he keeps hitting shots from the blue line like he did last week, he’ll keep inching closer.