DULUTH, Ga. – Mackenzie Skapski made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season and the Orlando Solar Bears (20-20-5-1) offense erupted for its largest margin of victory for the season in a 6-0 win over the Atlanta Gladiators (24-23-1-2) on Saturday night at Infinite Energy Arena.
The win, coupled with Greenville’s 5-1 road loss at Florida, moves the Solar Bears back into fourth place (46 points) in the South Division. Orlando remains five points behind Atlanta for third place, with four games in hand.
Click here for the box score.
Orlando: Joshua Winquist (Jeff King, J.J. Piccinich), Max Novak [PP] (Kristian Pospisil), Winquist (Piccinich, Mike Monfredo), Hunter Fejes [PP] (Pospisil, Monfredo), Piccinich [PP] (Monfredo, Pospisil), Martins Dzierkals (Chris Crane, Novak)
Goaltender: Mackenzie Skapski (31/31)
Goaltender: Sean Bonar (24/27), Dan Vladar (7/10)
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Joshua Winquist led Orlando with two goals – his 16th and 17th of the season – and tallied the game-winner when he buried his first just 3:44 into the game by one-timing a pass from Jeff King past Sean Bonar. Winquist added his second of the game at 1:39 of the second period when his centering attempt from the left wall deflected off the skate of a Gladiators defenseman past Bonar.
- Jeff King picked up the primary assist on Winquist’s first goal.
- Max Novak gave Orlando a 2-0 lead at 14:25 of the first period with a power-play goal for his 13th tally of the season. After Bonar coughed the puck up to Kristian Pospisil, the rookie found Novak in the slot, and Novak wristed a shot into the top-left corner of the net. Novak also assisted on Martins Dzierkals’ third-period goal.
- Hunter Fejes tallied a power-play goal at 15:43 of the second period to make it 4-0, recording his 22nd of the season. Fejes extended his point streak to three games (2g-2a).
- J.J. Piccinich enjoyed his second three-point night of the season, dishing out assists on both of Winquist’s goals, and recording his ninth of the season while the Solar Bears were on the man advantage to extend Orlando’s lead to five goals at 1:30 of the third period.
- Martins Dzierkals capped the scoring for Orlando with his 10th of the season at 2:14 of the third period, firing a wrist shot that beat Dan Vladar and deflected off both goal posts into the net. The rookie now has a three-game point streak (2g-1a).
- Kristian Pospisil made his return to the lineup after sitting out the previous three games and tallied his second three-point game of the season, assisting on Novak, Fejes and Pospisil’s goals.
- Mike Monfredo picked up his first three-point performance of the season, assisting on Winquist’s second goal, along with Fejes and Piccinich’s tallies.
- Chris Crane assisted on Dzierkals’ goal in his return to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game.
- Mackenzie Skapski made 31 stops for his seventh victory and second shutout of the season, including a breakaway stop on Atlanta’s Lindsay Sparks with less than a minute remaining in regulation.
- Orlando went 3-for-6 on the power play and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
- Winquist led Orlando with five shots on goal.
- The Solar Bears return home to play the Florida Everblades on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center at 7 p.m. Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and ticketmaster.com.
1) J.J. Piccinich – ORL
2) Kristian Pospisil – ORL
3) Joshua Winquist – 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.