TONIGHT: The Solar Bears (26-25-5-1) host the Reading Royals (31-20-4-0) in the first of two meetings this week. It is the first time in three seasons that Reading has made a trip to the City Beautiful. Orlando owns a lifetime 3-4-0-1 record against the Royals. The last game between the two clubs was a 5-2 win at Reading on Oct. 31, 2015.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Orlando currently sits in third place in the South Division, one point ahead of fourth-place Atlanta (idle) and with one game in hand. As a result of Jacksonville’s loss at Florida last night, the magic number for the Solar Bears has been reduced to 22 points.
MONFREDO BACK IN LINEUP: Veteran defenseman Mike Monfredo sat out of Monday’s victory over Norfolk – the blueliner was the only Solar Bears player up to that point who had played in every game for Orlando this season. The defenseman led the Solar Bears blue line in scoring for the month of February with 10 points (3g-7a) in 12 games.
SOLAR BEARS LOOK TO TAKE WIND OUT OF WILLOWS: The Solar Bears will likely focus in on Reading forward Matt Willlows. The third-year pro leads the Royals in scoring and recently saw a 15-game point streak (9g-17a) snapped. Willows is tied for sixth in the league scoring race with 58 points (22g-36a) in 55 games.
- J.J. Piccinich – 2-game point streak (1g-1a)
- Hunter Fejes – 2-game point streak (1g-1a)
- Alex Gudbranson – 2-game point streak (1g-1a)
- Adam Phillips – 1 assist from 50 career pro assists
- Joshua Winquist – 1 assists 100 career pro assists
- Hunter Fejes – 3 assists from 50 career pro assists
AFFILIATE NOTES: The Toronto Marlies (39-15-1-1) earned a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday, and host the Rochester Americans on Saturday. The Toronto Maple Leafs (39-20-6-0) fell to the Florida Panthers 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday, and return to action on Saturday at Washington.
NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears complete their season series with the Reading Royals at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center on Sunday, March 4 at 1:30 p.m. Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and ticketmaster.com.
About the Orlando Solar Bears:
The Orlando Solar Bears are in their sixth season of operation in the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America, and are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The Solar Bears are owned and operated by the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family, and play at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.
Fiesta Four Packs, presented by CenturyLink, are now available for purchase! Pick four games and get gift certificates to Sonny’s BBQ, Dick’s Sporting Goods, QDOBA Mexican Eats and a FREE center ice ticket to our Noche Latina game, presented by Auto Justice Attorney Michael T. Gibson on Friday, March 23 against the South Carolina Stingrays! Packs start as low as $64 and include $68 in FREE gifts! Click here or call (407) 951-8200 for more information.
Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.