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Solar Bears Lean on Sparks to Rally in 4-1 Win Over Everblades

Thursday, February 11th
Solar Bears Lean on Sparks to Rally in 4-1 Win Over Everblades

February 10, 2016

ESTERO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (19-19-2-4), proud affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, rode a 25-save performance from Garret Sparks to rally in the third period and beat the Florida Everblades (31-14-0-1) by a 4-1 score in front of a crowd of 5,122 on Wednesday night at Germain Arena.

In a period in which the Solar Bears out-shot the Everblades by a 10-5 margin, it was the home team that scored the lone goal early in the opening frame when Brant Harris banged home a rebound past Sparks at 3:02.

The second period featured even less scoring as Sparks and Florida’s Anthony Peters traded stops in the middle stanza, with Orlando outshooting Florida by a 16-10 differential in the period.

The third period started with a flurry of activity nears Sparks’ net, but the goalie withstood the tests that came his way. Midway through the period, Orlando finally solved Peters when Erik Bradford dished the puck back to Zach Bell at the right circle, and the Solar Bears defenseman fired a shot that squeaked through the pads of Peters at 10:22.

Seconds later, Nicklas Lindberg fed Jack Rodewald near the left circle, and the rookie snapped the puck past the arm of Peters at 10:43 to give the visitors their first lead of the night.

Florida continued to press late in the frame by pulling Peters for an extra skater, but Orlando sealed the game with empty-net goals from Rodewald at 19:12 and Eric Faille at 19:58.

Sparks’ 25 saves came on 26 total shots against for the win; Peters took the loss with 32 stops on 34 shots against.

“It’s always a pleasure to be able to backstop the Solar Bears,” Sparks said following the victory. “I think I accomplished what I came here to accomplish. The team played very well and it made my job easy for me.”

NOTES:

  • With the win over Florida, the Solar Bears improved to 3-6-0-0 in the Wawa Sunshine Cup Series against their in-state rivals.
For the box score, click here For tickets to the next home game, click here

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