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Solar Bears, Kaskisuo win wild 3-2 shootout thriller over Gladiators

Sunday, February 26th
Solar Bears, Kaskisuo win wild 3-2 shootout thriller over Gladiators

Goaltender stops 26 in relief to guide Orlando to victory

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Solar Bears (28-19-6-3) capped their regular season series against the Atlanta Gladiators (21-25-6-2) with a 3-2 shootout victory on Sunday afternoon at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center.

Click here for the box score.

Chris Crane gave the Solar Bears the 1-0 lead in the first period when he called for a pass from Darik Angeli as the pair made their way down the right wing in the offensive zone. Angeli flipped the puck back to Crane, who then snapped a shot past Matt Ginn into the top left corner of the net at 2:33.

Ryan Massa kept the Gladiators at bay in the first with a big breakaway pad save on Alex Guptill approximately a minute later. Later in the frame, a collision between Massa and Connor Gaarder appeared to shake the goaltender up, but he remained between the pipes for the duration of the period; Orlando took the ice in the second period with Kasimir Kaskisuo in goal.

The Solar Bears made it 2-0 when Patrick Watling one-timed a pass from Chris Bradley through the legs of Ginn for a power-play goal 11 minutes into the second stanza.

Atlanta responded late in the period when Justin Buzzeo dished the puck into the slot from the corner, and Derek Nesbitt snapped a shot past the blocker of Kaskisuo at 19:28 to pull the visitors back to within one.

The Gladiators tied the score late in regulation on the man advantage when Buzzeo wired a shot past Kaskisuo’s blocker at 18:47.

The game went to overtime, and despite several quality chances at both ends of the ice, including a two-on-none breakaway for Atlanta that Kaskisuo foiled, neither team could decide the game in the sudden-death session, sending the contest to a shootout.

After Orlando elected to shoot first, Austin Block and Alex Gacek converted in the top of the first two rounds, providing Kaskisuo with a chance to clinch the victory for the Solar Bears in the bottom of the second round. The Gladiators sent out Nesbitt to keep their hopes alive, but Nesbitt whiffed on his shot attempt, giving Kaskisuo the win.

Kaskisuo picked up the victory with 26 saves on 28 shots against; Ginn took the shootout loss with 42 stops on 44 shots against.

With the win, Orlando completed their 2016-17 regular season series against Atlanta with a 6-3-0-0 record.

Three Stars:1) Kasimir Kaskisuo – ORL2) Chris Crane – ORL3) Patrick Watling – ORL


  • Solar Bears vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits – Thursday, March 2 – 7 p.m. – Thirsty Thursday – Fans can enjoy $5 domestic draft beers throughout the Amway Center. Fans can also take advantage of $2 Coors Light drafts before and after Thursday’s game, along with food specials at Ferg’s Depot on Church Street. Fans can purchase discounted game tickets for as low as $14 at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/fergs.
  • Solar Bears vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits – Saturday, March 4 – 7 p.m. – Noche Latina presented by Auto Justice Attorney Michael T. Gibson, P.A.
  • Solar Bears vs. Utah Grizzlies – Friday, March 10 – 7 p.m.

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 mobile app, presented by BB&T, gives 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 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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