Weekly Report: March 20, 2017

The Orlando Solar Bears travel north this week to play the Adirondack Thunder and Brampton Beast.

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Orlando Solar Bears continue their drive for a spot in the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs, as the team has journeyed to the Empire State for the start of a five-game stretch against two North Division opponents: The Adirondack Thunder and Brampton Beast. At 31-22-6-3 (62 GP, 71 points), the Solar Bears sit in fourth place in the ECHL’s South Division, with games in hand on second-place Greenville (64 GP, 75 points) and third-place Cincinnati (65 GP, 74 points).

THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, March 21 – 7 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center – Glens Falls, N.Y.
Orlando Solar Bears at Adirondack Thunder

Thursday, March 23 – 7:15 p.m.
Powerade Centre – Brampton, Ontario
Orlando Solar Bears at Brampton Beast

Friday, March 24 – 7:15 p.m.
Powerade Centre – Brampton, Ontario
Orlando Solar Bears at Brampton Beast

Sunday, March 26 – 2 p.m.
Powerade Centre – Brampton, Ontario
Orlando Solar Bears at Brampton Beast

Orlando
31-22-6-3, 71 points
4th place, South Division 

Adirondack Thunder
33-20-6-4, 76 points
3rd place, North Division

Brampton Beast
36-20-3-4, 79 points
1st place, North Division

LAST WEEK: 1-1-0-0

Friday, March 17 – Florida 3, Orlando 2
After surrendering three goals in the first period, Orlando made a valiant attempt at a rally, as Austin Block got Orlando on the board in the second frame and set up Patrick Watling in the third to close the gap back to one goal, but the Solar Bears could not complete the comeback and fell to the Everblades.

Saturday, March 18 – Orlando 5, Florida 3
Despite surrendering an early goal to the Everblades, the Solar Bears mounted three-separate comebacks before finally pulling ahead with a three-goal effort in the third period. Orlando matched a season-high with three power-play goals, and Eric Faille tied a club record with a four-assist night.

BEAR TRACKS:

Solar Bears Get Five-Game Break From South Division
Orlando heads into this week’s slate of games coming off a stretch of 17 games against division opponents in its last 19 matches. While the Solar Bears schedule is heavily weighted towards play within the South Division, the team has fared well against opponents from the North, going 4-0-0-1.

Solar Bears Prepare for Offensive Battle
There is no debating that Orlando has enjoyed a resurgent offensive season – with 227 goals the club is only 10 more tallies away from setting a new franchise record for goals in a season, and the club continues to pace the league with an average of 37.60 shots on goal per game. There’s also a strong likelihood that the Solar Bears will need to showcase a firm defensive effort, as both the Thunder and Beast are also two offensive juggernauts – in fact, the two teams combined for a league-high 16 goals less than two weeks ago when Brampton took down Adirondack in a 9-7 stunner on March 12.

Solar Bears Look to Silence Thunder
Orlando pays its second-ever visit to the Glens Falls Civic Center tomorrow night for a clash against the Adirondack Thunder. Although Adirondack recently hit a skid, winning four of its last 10, the team appears to have established some footing, as the Thunder mounted a comeback 5-4 OT win over Wheeling on Saturday and trounced Atlanta 6-1 on Sunday.

Orlando Prepares for Second Visit to GTA
The Solar Bears will return to the Greater Toronto Area this season after first journeying to Ontario early last March. This season’s incarnation of the Beast is a noticeably different squad, as the team has four players who have already reached the 50-point plateau. The Solar Bears did manage a three-game home sweep of the Beast in November, and Brampton has given up an average of 3.54 goals against per game. 

Buzzeo Gets His First Points
Justin Buzzeo dished out two assists on Saturday for his first points with the Solar Bears since being acquired in a trade for Atlanta. Buzzeo has some history on his side in regard to Orlando’s upcoming opponents: in three career games against Adirondack the winger has five assists, while Buzzeo recorded a career-high four points (3g-1a) and the only hat trick of his pro career in his only game against the Beast last February.

Faille Playing Dominant Hockey
Orlando’s all-time point and goal scorer has been thriving since his reassignment from Toronto in late February. He has four multi-point games, and has generated 13 points (4g-9a) through six games in the month of March.

Miller Matches Career-Best
Defenseman Brendan Miller matched his previous career-best with a two-goal outing in Saturday’s win at Florida. The blueliner is enjoying a breakout sophomore campaign that has seen him more than double last season’s goal output and surpass his previous point total, while playing in eight fewer games and logging a robust +13.

Massa Handling Increased Workload
With Kasimir Kaskisuo up in the AHL for the foreseeable future, the crease firmly belongs to goaltender Ryan Massa, who has won four of his previous six decisions. In last season’s March playoff push, the goalie went 2-0-0 with a .924 save percentage against the Thunder, while he has a career 3-0-0 record and .938 save percentage against the Beast. 

EYE ON THE AHL:

  • Brett Findlay – Findlay has stepped up his offensive game lately for Toronto, as he recorded a goal and assist through three games last week for the Marlies; he has 12 points (5g-7a) over his last 12 contests.
  • Kasimir Kaskisuo – The rookie netminder picked up his first AHL victory of the season on Friday, making 28 saves in a win over Binghamton.
  • Ethan Werek – Werek picked up one assist in four games for Texas last week, as the Stars have cooled off and are on the outside looking in at a playoff spot in the AHL’s Pacific Division.

NEXT HOME GAMES:

  • Solar Bears vs. Florida Everblades – Wednesday, April 5 – 7 p.m. – Wawa Sunshine Cup Series game
  • Solar Bears vs. Florida Everblades – Friday, April 7 – 7 p.m. – Fan Appreciation Night / Team Picture Giveaway Sponsored by Coors Light / Shirts Off Players Back Ceremony / Wawa Sunshine Cup Series Game / Shot for $100,000

Club level game tickets can be purchased for as low as $10 for all remaining regular season home games at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/MTG courtesy of Auto Justice Attorney Michael T. Gibson.

ON THE AIR:
Orlandosolarbearshockey.com is now the broadcast home of the Solar Bears via the Mixlr streaming service. Radio broadcasts of Solar Bears games can be streamed online for free on any PC or mobile device. Pay-per-view video webcasts of all Solar Bears games are also available at ECHL.TV. Fans can now purchase ECHL.TV All-Access Passes for $64.99 and watch every remaining game of the 2016-17 regular season.

APP:
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.

Single-game tickets for the 2016-17 season are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and ticketmaster.com. Full and half-season ticket plans are now available by visiting OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com.

The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and play all of their home games at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.

Follow the Solar Bears at OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com, Facebook, and Twitter (@OrlandoHockey) for all the latest news and updates. Stay in touch with Shades on Instagram by following SolarBearsHockey.

Season tickets, Corporate Flex vouchers, and Group tickets are a great way to entertain employees, co-workers, clients, friends and family. For more information on all of the Solar Bears ticket packages, call (407) 951-8200 or visit orlandosolarbearshockey.com/groups.

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