Game Preview: Solar Bears vs. Nailers – Feb. 9, 2018

WHO: Orlando Solar Bears vs. Wheeling Nailers
VENUE: ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, Orlando, Fla.
DATE: Friday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.
WATCH: ECHL.TV
LISTEN: ESPN Orlando (580 AM)
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

PROMOTIONS:

  • Topgolf Orlando Shuffle Contest – During select Orlando Solar Bears home games this season, one fan will be randomly selected to participate in the Topgolf Orlando Shuffle Contest, and will receive a $50 gift card to Topgolf Orlando for participating. During these games, fans can also visit the Topgolf Orlando table outside Section 113 to receive coupons for $10 off at Topgolf Orlando.

TONIGHT: The Solar Bears (20-21-5-1) host the Wheeling Nailers (26-19-4-0) for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Orlando enters Friday’s game against Wheeling with an all-time record of 8-0-0-0.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Orlando sits in fourth place in the South Division, two points ahead of fifth-place Greenville, with one game in hand. Orlando is also seven points back of third-place Atlanta, with four games in hand on the Gladiators.

FEJES GETS FIRST TASTE OF REMATCH: Since an early January trade from Wheeling to Orlando, forward Hunter Fejes has been a highly-effective offensive weapon for the Solar Bears, generating 11 points (6g-5a) in 14 games. Tonight marks the first game for Fejes against his former club.

BEREHOWSKY APPROACHING FRANCHISE MARK: Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky only needs one more victory to tie Vince Williams for the most coaching wins in ECHL Solar Bears history. With a 79-79-22 record over 180 games, Berehowsky has already coached the most games in franchise history.

HEETER EXPECTED BACK BETWEEN THE PIPES: Goaltender Cal Heeter is anticipated to make his return in net tonight for the Solar Bears after missing the previous five games for Orlando. In the month of January, the goaltender went 3-3-1 in seven appearances with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.

SOLAR BEARS HOPE TO CONTAIN WHEELING’S WYDO: Since Jan. 20 the Nailers have enjoyed a 5-3-1-0 record; at the forefront of this surge has been forward Cody Wydo. Since then, the third-year pro has been on a tear, enjoying an eight-game point streak that has produced 13 points (5g-8a).

WHEELING POWER PLAY POSES FORMIDABLE TEST: Orlando’s penalty kill will need to be especially stout tonight, as the Nailers enter tonight’s game with the top-ranked power play unit in the ECHL. Wheeling has converted on a league-high 43-of-207 chances (20.8%). The Solar Bears, who are operating at a penalty kill rate of 83% this season, have enjoyed back-to-back games in which the team has not surrendered a power play goal. 

STREAKS:

  • J.J. Piccinich – 2-game point streak (2g-2a)
  • Mike Monfredo – 2-game assist streak (4a)
  • Joshua Winquist – 2-game point streak (2g-1a)

MILESTONES:

  • Drake Berehowsky – 1 win to tie Vince Williams (80) for most head coaching victories in ECHL Solar Bears history
  • Adam Phillips – 1 assist from 50 career pro assists
  • Kale Kerbashian – 2 points from 250 career pro points (91g-157a)
  • Alex Gudbranson – 3 points from 50 career pro points (12g-35a) 

AFFILIATE NOTES: The Toronto Marlies (34-11-0-1) will look to pick up a fifth straight victory tonight in Belleville against the Senators. The Toronto Maple Leafs (32-19-5-0) picked up a 3-2 shootout win over Nashville yesterday and resume play on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.

NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears take on the Nailers once again on Sunday, Feb. 11 at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center at a special 9:30 a.m. start time as Orlando hosts Breakfast with the Bears. Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and ticketmaster.com.

About the Orlando Solar Bears:
The Orlando Solar Bears are in their sixth season of operation in the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America, and are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The Solar Bears are owned and operated by the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family, and play at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.

Fighting Four Packs, presented by CenturyLink, are now available for purchase! Pick four games and get gift certificates to Sonny’s BBQ, Dick’s Sporting Goods, QDOBA Mexican Eats and a FREE center ice ticket to the our Hockey Fights Cancer Night game, presented by XYMOPRINT on Saturday, Feb. 17! Packs start as low as $64 and include $68 in FREE gifts! Click here or call (407) 951-8200 for more information.

Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.