TONIGHT: The Solar Bears (28-26-5-1) visit the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (21-32-6-1) for the first of two games this weekend. Orlando sports a 2-3-1-0 record against the Swamp Rabbits this season. The Solar Bears saw their five-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday in a 6-1 loss at Atlanta, while Greenville snapped an 0-11-3-0 winless streak last night with a 3-2 win at South Carolina
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Orlando sits in third place in the South Division, with a three-point cushion on fourth-place Atlanta (at South Carolina tonight), with one game in hand. As a result of Jacksonville’s 5-2 loss to the Florida Everblades on Friday night, the magic number for the Solar Bears to secure a berth in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs has been reduced to 16 points.
NOVAK RETURNED FROM MARLIES: The Solar Bears have received forward Max Novak back from the Toronto Marlies ahead of tonight’s game. Novak returns to Orlando, where he is currently second in team scoring this season with 44 points (16g-28a) in 55 games. Novak is also first among active players on the Solar Bears roster against Greenville this season with seven points (2g-5a) in six games against the Swamp Rabbits.
FIRST TO SCORE: Establishing a lead against the Swamp Rabbits will be helpful for the Solar Bears in tonight’s game. Orlando is 18-4-1-0 when the team gets on the board first, while Greenville is 11-8-4-1.
SOLAR BEARS POWER PLAY LOOKS TO DRAW FROM “THE WELL”: Orlando’s power play has converted on 9-of-33 (27.3%) chances against Greenville this season – by comparison, the most effective power play unit on the season is the Indy Fuel’s, which checks in at 22.7%. The Solar Bears will seek to capitalize on a Swamp Rabbits penalty kill unit that has struggled on home ice this season – Greenville has surrendered 34 goals on 130 instances (a league-low PK rate of 73.8%) when playing down a man this season at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
- Max Novak – 2-game point streak (1g-1a)
- Hunter Fejes – 3 assists from 50 career pro assists
- Joe Perry – 4 goals from 50 with Solar Bears
- Mike Monfredo – 2 games played from 400 in career
AFFILIATE NOTES: The Toronto Marlies (40-16-1-1) host the Providence Bruins for the only time this season this afternoon. The Toronto Maple Leafs (39-22-6-1) square off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.
NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears complete their road trip on Sunday, March 11, when they battle the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 3 p.m. from Bon Secours Wellness 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.
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 our Noche Latina game, presented by Auto Justice Attorney Michael T. Gibson on Friday, March 23 against the South Carolina Stingrays! 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 online at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.