JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hunter Fejes produced a hat trick in just his second game with his new team as the Orlando Solar Bears (14-16-4-1) triumphed by a 5-3 score over the Jacksonville Icemen (9-17-3-2) on Friday night at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Fejes and Martins Dzierkals (1g-2a) each enjoyed three point nights, and Orlando improved to 4-1-1-0 against Jacksonville for the season. The win, combined with Atlanta’s 5-3 loss to Greenville, allowed the Solar Bears to jump back into fourth place in the ECHL’s South Division to occupy a playoff spot.
Click here for the box score.
Orlando: Martins Dzierkals [PP] (Joshua Winquist, J.J. Piccinich), Hunter Fejes (Nolan Valleau, Chris Crane), Jeff King (Sam Jardine, Dzierkals), Fejes (Valleau, Dzierkals), Fejes [EN] (Jardine)
Goaltender: Cal Heeter (20/23)
Jacksonville: Jansen Harkins (Cameron Critchlow, Jimmy Lodge), Everett Clark (Elgin Pearce), Critchlow [PP] (Harkins, Tim Daly)
Goaltender: Austin Lotz (15/19), Jamie Phillips (5/5)
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Martins Dzierkals tied the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal at 4:51 of the second period. The rookie cradled a pass from Joshua Winquist and wristed a shot over the shoulder of Austin Lotz for his seventh of the season. Dzierkals added assists on Jeff King’s goal and Hunter Fejes’ game-winning tally.
- Hunter Fejes picked up a point in his second straight game since joining the Solar Bears, giving Orlando a 2-1 lead at 11:08 for his 17th of the season and his first with the Solar Bears. Fejes later broke a 3-3 tie at 3:55 of the third period for the eventual game-winner, and sealed the game with an empty-net score at 18:34 to complete the hat trick.
- Jeff King extended Orlando’s lead to 3-1 with his third of the season at 12:05. King now has a two-game point streak (1g-1a).
- Nolan Valleau picked up two assists, setting up the first two goals scored by Fejes.
- Sam Jardine enjoyed a two-point night, assisting on King’s goal, and Fejes’ empty-netter.
- Chris Crane earned an assist on Fejes’ first goal in his return to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 16, after being activated earlier in the day.
- Joshua Winquist assisted on Dzierkals’ goal, giving him a team-leading 36 points (13g-23a) on the season. Winquist sits tied for sixth in league scoring.
- J.J. Piccinich provided the secondary assist on Dzierkals’ goal.
- Cal Heeter picked up his ninth win of the season for Orlando, making 20 saves on 23 shots against.
- Orlando went 1-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.
- The Solar Bears accrued a season-high 53 penalty minutes in the game, passing the previous mark of 39 set on Nov. 17 at Greenville; Jacksonville’s 56 penalty minutes also represented a season-high for a Solar Bears opponent – the previous mark of 43 was set on Jan. 3 at Florida.
- Fejes led the Solar Bears with six shots on goal.
- The Solar Bears battle the Jacksonville Icemen tomorrow, Jan. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena in the second of three consecutive meetings against Jacksonville. Orlando is back at home on Sunday, Jan. 7 when they host the Jacksonville Icemen at 1:30 p.m. Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and com.
1) Hunter Fejes – ORL
2) Cameron Critchlow – JAX
3) Martins Dzierkals – ORL
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.
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Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.