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Game Recap: Solar Bears Topple Swamp Rabbits in 6-3 Win

Thursday, March 24th
Game Recap: Solar Bears Topple Swamp Rabbits in 6-3 Win

March 23, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (31-24-3-5), proud affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, were led by Rylan Schwartz’s four-point effort and matched their season-high for goals scored in a 6-3 win against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (28-27-8-1) in front of 5,325 on Wednesday night at the Amway Center.

Schwartz opened the scoring in the first period got Orlando on the board when Nicklas Lindberg whipped the puck from the left half wall into the slot for a one-timer for Schwartz that beat Mackenzie Skapski at 6:35.

During a Solar Bears penalty kill Brenden Miller advanced the puck into the right corner of the attacking zone, eventually kicking the back to the circle where it was retrieved by Schwartz. The pivot was denied on his initial attempt by Skapski, but the goaltender gave up the rebound and Schwartz pounced on the loose puck, finding the back of the net for a shorthanded marker at 10:54.

Jack Combs scored an unassisted goal at 15:33 to cut Orlando’s lead in half by snapping the puck past Ryan Massa.

Johnny McInnis struck for the Solar Bears on the power play when he gained the offensive zone off a feed from Schwartz, floated a pass to his right for Denver Manderson and charged towards the net as Manderson sent the puck back towards McInnis. McInnis positioned his stick blade along the ice to ramp the puck over the glove of Skapski at 18:52.

Greenville cut Orlando’s lead back to one when Josh Nicholls banged home a backdoor feed from Scott Fleming at 19:55 after Combs kept the puck in at the blueline following a failed clearing attempt from Orlando.

The Swamp Rabbits tied the score late in the second frame on a delayed Orlando penalty, as Combs sped down the left wing and snapped the puck through the pads of Massa at 19:43.

Erik Bradford pulled Orlando ahead for good in the third stanza when he broke down the right side around Tyler Elbrecht and slid the puck underneath Skapski’s pads at 1:56.

Moments later Brady Vail and Jack Rodewald teamed up for a give-and-go play that resulted in Vail redirecting Rodewald’s centering pass into the net at 2:40 to give Vail his 20th goal of the season and Orlando its first ECHL campaign in which the team possessed three 20-goal scorers (Vail, T.J. Foster and Eric Faille).

The Solar Bears capped the scoring when Foster redirected Schwartz’s one-timer from the slot through Skapski at 15:36.

Massa earned the win with 34 saves on 37 shots against for his fifth consecutive victory in as many starts; Skapski took the loss with 20 stops on 26 shots against.

NOTES:

  • With the win Orlando (70 points) has closed the gap with the Elmira Jackals for eighth place and a spot in the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Solar Bears are two points back of Jackals (72 points; idle) with two games in hand, and only three points back of seventh-place Reading (73 points; lost 3-2 vs. Kalamazoo) with two games in hand.
  • Bradford’s goal extended his point streak to eight games (3g-5a).
  • Rodewald’s assist on Vail’s goal extended his point streak to seven games (3g-6a).
  • Schwartz’s performance extended his point streak to four games (4g-5a).
  • McInnis now has a four-game point streak (2g-4a).
  • Manderson three assists were a new season high and extended his point streak to three games (1g-5a).
For the box score, click here For tickets to the next home game, click here

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