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Solar Bears triumph over Aces with 6-2 win in first-ever meeting

Wednesday, January 11th
Solar Bears triumph over Aces with 6-2 win in first-ever meeting

Gacek scores twice, Kaskisuo makes 49 saves

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alex Gacek scored twice and Kasimir Kaskisuo enjoyed a club-record 27-save second period as the Orlando Solar Bears (19-12-4-2) took their first-ever meeting against the Alaska Aces (19-10-1-4) by a 6-2 score on Wednesday night at Sullivan Arena.

Click here for the box score.

Gacek opened the scoring for the Solar Bears when Chris Bradley’s point shot rebounded off the leg pad of Michael Garteig and Gacek elevated a backhander over the goalie’s leg at 5:49 of the first period.

Orlando converted on the power play to make it 2-0 after Joe Perry camped out in front of the Alaska net and tipped a centering feed from the left circle by Eric Faille into the net at 10:38.

Daniel Moynihan answered for the Aces after he deflected a shot from the blue line by Steven Tarasuk past Kaskisuo at 12:08, and Stephen Perfetto netted the equalizer when he carried the puck up the ice before cutting through the Orlando defense and sliding the puck underneath the pad of Kaskisuo at 14:46.

As the period drew to a close, the Solar Bears won an offensive zone face-off while on the man advantage. Once the puck was dropped, Denver Manderson tapped the puck over to Gacek, who swung beneath the right circle and backhanded a shot past Garteig at 19:46.

Orlando restored its two-goal edge when Manderson fed the puck from beneath the goal line into the slot for Faille to hammer past Garteig at 4:04 of the second period. The goal was the 100th career point for Faille in a Solar Bears uniform, making him only the third player to reach the 100-point plateau after Jacob Cepis and Manderson.

Ben Danford extended the Solar Bears lead to three goals when he drove the net to knock home a pass from the left wing by Chase Witala at 8:50 to make it 5-2, prompting Alaska to replace Garteig in net with Kevin Carr.

Orlando still had one more tally left in the tank, as Gacek threaded a pass from the goal line into the slot for Chris Crane to fire past Carr at 13:25.

Kaskisuo, meanwhile, kept the Aces offense at bay with a 27-save effort in the second frame, including a stop on the goal line against Ryan Trenz following an Alaska face-off win in the Orlando zone at 16:48.

The rookie goalie’s performance in the middle 20 minutes of play broke Garret Sparks’ team record for most saves by a goalie in a single period set on Jan. 23, 2015 in a 4-3 shootout win vs. Greenville, in which Sparks had recorded 23 saves in the first period.

The Solar Bears settled into a defensive groove in the third period, as Kaskisuo finished the night with 49 saves on 51 shots against to earn the victory; Garteig took the loss with 13 stops on 18 shots against in 28:50 of work, while Carr recorded 13 saves on 14 shots in 31:10 of relief.

The Solar Bears face the Alaska Aces again on Friday, Jan. 13 at 11:15 p.m. ET at Sullivan Arena.

Three Stars:1) Kasimir Kaskisuo – ORL2) Alex Gacek – ORL3) Daniel Moynihan – AK

NEXT HOME GAMES:

  • Military Appreciation Night & Patriotic Jersey – Solar Bears vs. Florida Everblades - Saturday, Jan. 21 - 7 p.m.
  • Solar Bears vs. Allen Americans - Thursday, Jan. 26 - 7 p.m. – First-ever meeting between Orlando and the defending back-to-back Kelly Cup champions
  • Solar Bears vs. Allen Americans - Sunday, Jan. 29 - 1:30 p.m. – UCF vs. UF game following Solar Bears game

Single-game tickets are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and ticketmaster.com. Full and half-season ticket plans are now available by visiting OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com.

The Solar Bears have released a brand-new mobile app, presented by BB&T, giving Solar Bears fans everything they need right in their pocket. The app is also home to the brand-new Loyalty & Rewards Program, which provides Solar Bears fans with opportunities to accumulate points and redeem them for exclusive prizes. The new app is FREE and available for both iOS and Android devices.

The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and play all of their home games at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.

Follow the Solar Bears at www.OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.comFacebook, and Twitter (@OrlandoHockey) for all the latest news and updates. Stay in touch with Shades on Instagram by following SolarBearsHockey.

Season tickets, Corporate Flex vouchers, and Group tickets are a great way to entertain employees, co-workers, clients, friends and family. For more information on all of the Solar Bears ticket packages, call (407) 951-8200 or visit orlandosolarbearshockey.com/groups.

Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.

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