ORLANDO, Fla. – Kale Kerbashian made his return to the lineup and scored both goals to lift the Orlando Solar Bears (28-25-5-1) to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Reading Royals (31-21-6-0) on Sunday afternoon at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center. The win gave the Solar Bears a two-game sweep of the Royals in the regular season series and extended Orlando’s season-high win streak to five games.
With the victory, the Solar Bears (59 GP, 62 points) now have a five-point cushion on their hold of third place in the South Division ahead of the Atlanta Gladiators (60 GP, 57 points), while Orlando’s magic number to clinch a berth in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs has been reduced to 18 points.
Click here for the box score.
Orlando: Kale Kerbashian (Kristian Pospsil, Alex Gudbranson), Kerbashian (Joe Perry, Sam Jardine)
Goaltender: Mackenzie Skapski (35/36)
Reading: Nolan Zajac (Brian Morgan, Chris McCarthy)
Goaltender: Branden Komm (32/34)
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Kale Kerbashian netted both goals for the Solar Bears, recording his third of the season at the 6:21 mark of the first period to give Orlando a 1-0 lead. The veteran then buried his second goal just 37 seconds into overtime to give Orlando the victory; the marker was his second game-winning tally of the season in only his fourth game of the campaign, after missing the last 18 games dating back to Jan. 20 due to injury. Kerbashian’s two goals also allowed him to reach 250 points (93g-157a) in his pro career, which currently sits at 295 games played.
- Kristian Pospisil helped set up Kerbashian’s first goal and now has a three-game point streak (1g-2a).
- Alex Gudbranson added the secondary helper on Kerbashian’s first-period tally.
- Joe Perry recorded an assist on Kerbashian’s game-winning marker.
- Sam Jardine assisted on Kerbashian’s overtime goal and now has a three-game point streak (1g-3a).
- Mackenzie Skapski earned his 10th victory of the season with 35 saves on 36 shots against. The goaltender has won his last two consecutive starts.
- The Solar Bears have now won four straight on home ice, the longest such streak this season.
- The overtime win gave Orlando its third win on home ice in the sudden-death period, passing the previous club mark of two set during the 2015-16 and 2013-14 seasons.
- Orlando is now 8-0-0-0 when Gudbranson records a point, and 3-0-0-0 when Kerbashian records a goal.
- Kerbashian led Orlando with five shots on goal.
- The Solar Bears hit the road next week as they take on the Atlanta Gladiators on Wednesday, March 7 at 7:05 p.m. from Infinite Energy Arena. Orlando returns home to face the Florida Everblades on Thursday, March 15 in a Wawa Sunshine Cup Series game. Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and Ticketmaster.com.
1) Kale Kerbashian – ORL
2) Mackenzie Skapski – ORL
3) Mike Monfredo – 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.
Fiesta 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 Noche Latina game, presented by Auto Justice Attorney Michael T. Gibson on Friday, March 23! 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 at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.