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Game Preview: Solar Bears vs. Stingrays - March 23, 2018

Friday, March 23rd
Game Preview: Solar Bears vs. Stingrays - March 23, 2018

WHO: Orlando Solar Bears vs. South Carolina StingraysVENUE: ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, Orlando, Fla.DATE: Friday, March 23, 7 p.m.WATCH: ECHL.TVLISTEN: ESPN Orlando (580 AM)TICKETS: CLICK HERE

TONIGHT: The Solar Bears (31-27-6-2) take on the South Carolina Stingrays (41-15-6-1). Both teams hold identical 4-3-0-1 records against each other. Orlando is in the midst of a six-game unbeaten streak at home (4-0-1-1) dating back to Feb. 25.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Orlando sits in third place in the South Division, with a five-point cushion on fourth-place Atlanta (6-2 win at Cincinnati on Thursday) with one game in hand. The magic number for the Solar Bears to earn a spot in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs currently sits at four points – the Solar Bears can clinch their fourth trip to the postseason with a win tonight and a regulation loss for Jacksonville at Greenville.

PICCINICH BREAKS THROUGH: J.J. Piccinich tallied his first goal in the regular season series on Wednesday, as the rookie continues to build on a productive March. The 2014 Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick has generated seven points (3g-4a) in nine games for the month, and leads all Solar Bears forwards in that time with a +5.

HEETER LOOKS TO CONTINUE STINGY PLAY AGAINST SOUTH CAROLINA: Goaltender Cal Heeter will get the nod in net tonight for Orlando. Heeter has enjoyed some of his strongest play this season against the Stingrays. Heeter has posted a 4-1-0 record in five appearances against South Carolina to go along with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. Orlando will hope to get similar numbers from Heeter tonight, as the Stingrays have allowed a league-low 2.17 goals against per game.

BAILLARGEON BACK IN: Robbie Baillargeon will return to the lineup tonight for Orlando as he plays his first game against his former club. Baillargeon was acquired at the ECHL trade deadline on March 8, and has tallied two assists in five games with the Solar Bears since his acquisition.

STREAKS:

  • Kale Kerbashian – 2-game point streak (2g-3a)
  • Joe Perry – 2-game point streak (2g-1a)
  • J. Piccinich – 2-game point streak (1g-1a)

MILESTONES:

  • Eric Baier – 1 assist to tie Eric Faille and Denver Manderson for franchise record for assists (79)
  • Joe Perry – 1 goal from 50 with Solar Bears
  • Sam Jardine – 2 points from 50 in professional career
  • Kale Kerbashian – 3 goals from 100 in professional career
  • Sean Zimmerman – 4 points from 100 in professional career

AFFILIATE NOTES: The Toronto Marlies (45-17-1-1) begin a busy three-in-three weekend tonight at Belleville, where the Marlies have posted a 4-1-0-0 record this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs (44-23-6-1) defeated the Nashville Predators by a 5-2 score last night and return home to host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears conclude their home series with the Stingrays on Sunday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center. 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.

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