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Game Recap: Watling's Buzzer-Beater Gives Solar Bears 4-3 OT Win

Friday, April 8th
Game Recap: Watling's Buzzer-Beater Gives Solar Bears 4-3 OT Win

April 7, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (33-28-4-5), proud affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, prevailed by a 4-3 score in overtime over the Florida Everblades (44-23-1-2) thanks to a buzzer-beater goal from Patrick Watling in front of 8,226 on Thursday night at the Amway Center.

Jack Rodewald opened the scoring for Orlando 2:21 into the first period after he received a cross-ice pass from Brady Vail in the neutral zone and sped down the right wing before he snapped the puck past Anthony Peters.

The Solar Bears extended their lead minutes later when Brett Findlay jammed the puck past Peters at 5:44 after receiving a one-touch pass from Watling.

The Everblades used a three-goal outburst in a 1:52 span in the middle frame to take a 3-2 lead, after receiving a power-play marker from Brendan O’Donnell at 12:23, Greg Gibson at 1:11 and O’Donnell again at 14:15.

Midway through the third period Erik Bradford won a faceoff at the left circle back to Brenden Miller. Miller’s subsequent shot from the blueline deflected off the glass to T.J. Foster at the right of the Florida net, and Fosted dished the puck toward Bradford who had made his way to the front of the cage. Bradford redirected the pass past Peters at 10:13 to tie the score.

The game remained tied at the end of regulation, sending the game to the five-minute sudden-death period.

Both teams traded chances, but in the waning moments of overtime the Solar Bears prevented the Everblades from clearing the puck out of their own end. Eric Faille moved the puck ahead to Findlay at the right circle and the center fired a shot into the pads of Peters, who kicked the puck out to the left circle where Watling was perfectly positioned to knock home the rebound with approximately three-tenths of a second left on the clock.

Rob Madore earned the win with 38 saves on 41 shots against; Peters took the overtime loss with 30 stops on 34 shots against.

NOTES:

  • The win improved Orlando’s home record to 15-18-1-2 on Amway Center ice this season. The Solar Bears still have two games remaining on the road against Florida on Friday and Saturday at Germain Arena.
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