ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (13-11-2-0) engaged in a spirited battle with the Florida Everblades (17-6-4-0) to open the first game of a three-in-three set, but ultimately came up short in 4-2 loss on Thursday night at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center.
Click herefor the box score.
Florida raced out to an early 1-0 lead after Zach Nastasiuk collected a redirected feed from John McCarron and beat Martin Ouellette just 32 seconds into the contest.
The Everblades extended their lead when Justin Auger scored at 18:59 to send Orlando into the intermission down 2-0.
Ben Massella continued Florida’s scoring binge in the second period, as the defenseman teamed up with McCarron for a 2-on-1 and snapped a shot past Ouellette at 7:26.
Curt Gogol got Orlando on the board with his third of the season after Trevor Olson sent the puck from the end boards back to the blue line for Etienne Boutet. Boutet’s shot from the line was initially blocked by Derek Sheppard, but Gogol grabbed a hold of the loose puck and fired a shot past the glove of Jeremy Helvig at 12:16.
Mitch Hults netted a power-play goal at 1:15 of the third period when Oleg Sosunov stepped into a shot at the blue line and snapped his stick, causing the puck to carom towards Hults at the right circle. The forward took advantage of the broken play and wristed the puck past a lunging Helvig to pull Orlando back to within a goal of Florida and give the Lightning prospect his second of the season with the Solar Bears.
The Solar Bears continued to press late into the game, but Helvig shut the door the rest of the way as McCarron added an empty-net goal at the 18:57 mark to put the contest away.
Ouellette took the loss with 36 saves on 39 shots against; Helvig picked up the victory for Florida with 24 stops on 26 shots against.
THREE STARS1) Ben Massella – FLA2) John McCarron – FLA3) Martin Ouellette – ORL
NEXT GAMES: The Solar Bears will host their annual Teddy Bear Toss, presented by Jewett Orthopaedic Clinic, against the Florida Everblades on Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used teddy bears to stuffed animals to throw onto the ice when the Solar Bears score their first goal. The stuffed animals will then be collected and donated to children in need throughout Central Florida for the holiday season. CLICK HEREto purchase tickets to the game.
Festive Four Packs presented by CenturyLink
Get the perfect holiday stocking stuffer when you purchase a Festive Four Packs, presented by CenturyLink! Pick any four games and get $65 dollars in gift certificates to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Duffy’s Sports Grill, QDOBA Mexican Eats and a FREE center ice ticket to the Orlando Solar Bears Teddy Bear Toss game on Friday, December 21st! Packs start as low as $69.99 – CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE.
2018-19 Season Presented by XYMOPrint:
The Orlando Solar Bears are proud to have local digital printing experts XYMOPrintas the presenting sponsor of the 2018-19 season. As a special offer, fans who call XYMOPrint at (888) 223-9390 from now until June 15, 2019 and reference the Solar Bears will receive 30% off their first order of 500 business cards.
2018-19 Single-Game Tickets Now on Sale:
Single-game tickets for the Orlando Solar Bears 2018-19 regular season home schedule are now on sale. Fans can purchase single-game tickets for as little as $15 at the Amway Center box office, or online at Ticketmaster.com.
2018-19 Season Ticket Memberships:
Season Ticket Membershipsfor the seventh season of ECHL Orlando Solar Bears hockey are now on sale. Full and Half-Season memberships are both available, starting as low as $270. For more information, call (407) 951-8200 or visit orlandosolarbearshockey.com.
About the Orlando Solar Bears:
The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and members of the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America. In six seasons of operation, the team has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs four times. 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.
Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.