South Division Semifinals • Game 1 • Series tied 0-0
The Orlando Solar Bears open the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by Coors Light, against a familiar opponent. Orlando faced the Florida Everblades 14 times during the regular season, and also matched up with Florida in the first round of the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Only three players remain from that series: Eric Baier for Orlando, and Brant Harris and Mike Aviani for Florida.
CRANE LEADS WAY WITH PRO POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE:
The Solar Bears will rely heavily on the championship pedigree of forward Chris Crane, who was acquired in November from the Allen Americans, where he was part of back-to-back Kelly Cup championships in 2015 and 2016. In the 2015 postseason, Crane recorded 20 points (10g-10a) in 25 games, including a goal and two assists in Allen’s Cup-clinching Game 7 win against South Carolina. Crane also captured a USHL Clark Cup with the Green Bay Gamblers in 2010, defeating Ryan Massa’s Fargo Force.
BAIER HOLDS TEAM RECORD FOR POSTSEASON GAMES:
Solar Bears captain Eric Baier is not only the franchise leader in regular season games, but postseason games as well, having skated in all 12 playoff games in team history. The Providence College alum also owns the distinction of scoring the first playoff overtime game-winning goal in team history, as he recorded the winning marker in Game 5 of Orlando’s 2014 first-round matchup against Cincinnati at U.S. Bank Arena on April 26, 2014. Baier’s tally gave the Solar Bears a 3-2 win over the Cyclones and forced the series back to Orlando.
DOHERTY FINALLY GETS TO EXPERIENCE POSTSEASON:
Although he is one of two veterans (260+ regular season pro games prior to start of season) on the Solar Bears playoff roster, defenseman Taylor Doherty has never suited up in a postseason game at the pro level, but will make his pro postseason debut tonight against the Everblades.
MANDERSON SET TO PLAY FIRST POSTSEASON GAMES WITH ORLANDO:
The last time Orlando faced Florida in the postseason in 2015, the team did so without it’s leading goal-scorer from the regular season – Denver Manderson instead was with the Solar Bears AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, during that particular postseason. This will be the first crack at postseason play with Orlando for the third-year Solar Bears forward. Manderson previously put up six points in six games with the Wheeling Nailers in the 2014 playoffs.
2016-17 REG. SEASON HEAD-TO-HEAD
2015-16 Overall: 4-10-0-0
2015-16 Home: 2-6-0-0
2015-16 Away: 2-4-0-0
Last 5 Years: 27-41-3-1
Last 5 Years Home: 13-20-1-0
Last 5 Years Away: 14-21-2-1
2016-17 REG. SEASON LEADERS
Points: Faille – 70
Goals: Perry – 35
Assists: Buzzeo – 44
+/-: Danford & Doherty – +21
PIM: Miller – 84
SOG: Perry – 211
The Toronto Marlies face the St. John’s IceCaps on Friday, who could potentially be Toronto’s first-round opponent in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs make their return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they open their first-round matchup with the Washington Capitals on Thursday.
The Solar Bears mobile app, presented by BB&T, gives Solar Bears fans everything they need right in their pocket. The app is also home to the brand-new Loyalty & Rewards Program, which provides Solar Bears fans with opportunities to accumulate points and redeem them for exclusive prizes. The app is FREE and available for both iOS and Android devices.