Surging Solar Bears begin 10-game stretch on road
ORLANDO, Fla. – After finishing the previous week with a 3-0-1-0 record, the Orlando Solar Bears venture north to begin a season-high 10-game road trip – the Solar Bears will play four games this week against division rivals Jacksonville, Greenville, South Carolina and Atlanta.
THIS WEEK’S GAMES:
Tuesday, Nov. 28 – 7:30 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Arena – Jacksonville, Fla.
Orlando Solar Bears at Jacksonville Icemen
Friday, Dec. 1 – 7:30 p.m.
Bon Secours Wellness Arena – Greenville, S.C.
Orlando Solar Bears at Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Saturday, Dec. 2 – 7:05 p.m.
North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, S.C.
Orlando Solar Bears at South Carolina Stingrays
Sunday, Dec. 3 – 2:05 p.m.
Infinite Energy Arena – Duluth, Ga.
Orlando Solar Bears at Atlanta Gladiators
6-8-3-0, 15 points
5th place, South Division
3-11-0-1, 7 points
7th place, South Division
Greenville Swamp Rabbits
10-6-2-0, 22 points
3rd place, South Division
South Carolina Stingrays
10-3-2-1, 23 points
2nd place, South Division
10-6-1-1, 22 points
4th place, South Division
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fans can watch all 72 Solar Bears games this season on ECHL.TV, the league’s online HD streaming platform powered by NeuLion. Fans can also listen to every Solar Bears game this week for free on Mixlr, or by visiting the Solar Bears website or accessing the broadcast stream within the Solar Bears mobile app.
LAST WEEK: 3-0-1-0
Tuesday, Nov. 21 – Orlando 4, Jacksonville 1
Martins Dzierkals scored twice for the Solar Bears – including the game-winner – as Orlando hosted Jacksonville for the first time. The Solar Bears came away with their largest margin of victory this season, as Kyle Rankin and J.J. Piccinich tacked on additional goals for the Solar Bears, and Cal Heeter made 33 saves for the win.
Wednesday, Nov. 22 – Jacksonville 4, Orlando 3 (OT)
After falling behind 3-0 to Jacksonville in the second period, the Solar Bears showcased their resiliency by forcing a comeback against the Icemen – J.J. Piccinich began the rally with his fifth goal of the season in the middle frame, and drew a high-sticking penalty against Jacksonville’s Christopher Dienes in the third period that led to Max Novak’s power-play goal that tied the score. The Icemen’s Jimmy Lodge scored the overtime-winning tally, but Mackenzie Skapski’s 37 saves helped Orlando secure a point.
Saturday, Nov. 25 – Orlando 3, South Carolina 2
The Solar Bears faced the Stingrays for the first time this season, and Jean Dupuy found the back of the net twice, while Cal Heeter made 23 saves to help Orlando get back in the win column.
Sunday, Nov. 26 – Orlando 3, South Carolina 2 (SO)
The Stingrays took a 2-0 lead into the third period, but goals from Jean Dupuy and Martins Dzierkals tied the score to force overtime – Dzierkals’ goal came with less than a minute remaining in regulation and with goaltender Cal Heeter pulled for an extra skater – and Orlando earned its third consecutive home win in the shootout after Dzierkals and Joshua Winquist scored, while Heeter stopped Stingrays captain Joe Devin in the third round to pick up the first shootout win of the season for the Solar Bears.
November has been a month to remember for Joshua Winquist – the fourth-year pro enjoyed a red-hot stretch of play in which he set a new franchise record for the longest assist streak, dishing out 12 helpers over an eight-game span from Nov. 7-22. Winquist’s 15 total assists on the season are fourth in the league, and he also leads the Solar Bears with two game-winning goals.
The ‘Heet’ is On
Goaltender Cal Heeter enjoyed a dominant week for the Solar Bears, going 3-0-0 in three starts while posting a 1.63 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. The goaltender has also won his last four straight appearances.
Pospisil Continues to Provide Offense
Rookie forward Kristian Pospisil made his return to the lineup on Saturday after sitting out the previous 12 games after sustaining an injury during Orlando’s trip to Allen, Texas in October. The Toronto Marlies contracted forward recorded an assist in each game against South Carolina, and the Solar Bears have posted a 3-1-0-0 record when Pospisil has recorded a point.
Points – Joshua Winquist (20)
Goals – Max Novak and Nolan Valleau (6)
Assists – Joshua Winquist (15)
Shots – Max Novak (66)
+/- – Chris Crane (+4)
PIM – Mike Monfredo (30)
- Cal Heeter – four-game win streak (4-0-0)
- Nolan Valleau – three-game assist streak (3a)
- Jean Dupuy – two-game point streak (3g-1a)
- Kristian Pospisil – two-game assist streak (2a)
EYE ON THE MARLIES:
- Mason Marchment (2016-17) – Recorded one assist in three games for the Marlies, who have now won seven consecutive games.
- Garret Sparks (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16) – went 2-0-0 for the Marlies, recording a .947 save percentage for the week – his season-long .947 save percentage and 10 wins lead all AHL goaltenders.
NEXT HOME GAMES:
- Solar Bears vs. Norfolk Admirals – Wednesday, Dec. 20 – 7 p.m.
- Solar Bears vs. Norfolk Admirals – Thursday, Dec. 21 – 7 p.m. – Thirsty Thursday presented by Coors Light
- Solar Bears vs. Norfolk Admirals – Saturday, Dec. 23 – 7 p.m. – Teddy Bear Toss presented by Tijuana Flats / Hunter Vision Gift of Sight Night / Ugly Sweater Jersey
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.
Full Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017-18 season are on sale now. Purchase an Orlando Solar Bears Full Season Ticket Membership for as little as $440 today! 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.