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Solar Bears earn point to head into holiday break

Sunday, December 23rd
Solar Bears earn point to head into holiday break

ESTERO, Fla. – One night after picking up a 4-3 overtime win on home ice against their division rivals, the Orlando Solar Bears (14-11-3-0) scored three goals in a 53-second span in the third period to take a 5-3 lead, but it was not enough to power Orlando to a second straight victory as the Florida Everblades (18-6-5-0) rallied and completed the comeback to deal Orlando a 6-5 overtime loss on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.

Click herefor the box score.

Cody Donaghey scored his first of two goals in the game just three minutes into the opening period to give Orlando a 1-0 lead after Chris LeBlanc won a faceoff back to the blue line, and Donaghey fired the puck past a screened Jeremy Helvig for his fifth of the season.

The Everblades reeled off three straight goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead, as Zach Nastasiuk (11:32) converted on the power play and Derek Sheppard (15:12) and Matt Finn (15:55) found twine to put the home team up by two.

Late in the frame, Ryan Lough pulled the Solar Bears back to within a goal of Florida during a delayed penalty against the Everblades, as Lough wheeled to the top of the offensive zone and beat Helvig from the high slot at 18:09.

Donaghey started Orlando’s third-period scoring binge during a 4-on-3 man advantage with a one-timer from the left circle at 4:05.

Mike Monfredo netted his third of the season at 4:34 to give the Solar Bears a 4-3 lead when the defenseman crept up through the left circle and redirected a centering feed from Mitch Hults from along the right wall.

LeBlanc made it 5-3 when he received a stretch pass from Donaghey at center ice and broke in alone on Helvig and buried his fourth of the season at 4:58. The three-goal run in 53 seconds for Orlando was three seconds shy of the fastest three goals in team history, set on Jan. 18, 2014 at Florida in a 6-5 regulation loss.

Sheppard halved Orlando’s lead with his second of the night at 12:29 when his shot from the high slot struck the crossbar and deflected past Corbin Boes at 12:29 to cut the Solar Bears lead to 5-4.

The Everblades then tied the game at 5-5 with Helvig pulled for an extra attacker and Michael Brodzinski in the penalty box for Orlando, as John McCarron collected a blocked shot and shelved the puck past Boes at 18:32 to force overtime for the second straight evening between both clubs.

Justin Auger completed Florida’s comeback at the 3:17 mark of the extra period as Logan Roe dished the puck to Auger in the high slot and the forward wristed a shot past a screened Boes to secure the additional point for the Everblades.

Boes took the overtime loss with a season-high 39 saves on 45 shots against; Helvig earned the win with a 16-save performance on 21 shots against.

NOTABLES

  • Orlando leads the regular season series with a 3-1-1-0 record against Florida.
  • Despite the overtime loss, the Solar Bears maintain a four-game point road point streak (3-0-1-0) heading into their next game on Thursday, Dec. 27 at Jacksonville.
  • Hults led the Solar Bears with five shots on goal; his assist on Monfredo’s goal gives the forward a three-game point streak (3g-1a).
  • LeBlanc finished the evening with a goal and an assist for his second consecutive two-point outing.

THREE STARS1) Derek Sheppard – FLA2) Matt Finn – FLA3) Justin Auger – FLA

NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears return from the holiday break with a road game against the Jacksonville Icemen on Thursday, Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena. Orlando is back at home when the team hosts Jacksonville on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. 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 Pack, 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 Saturday, Dec. 29 game against the Jacksonville Icemen! 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.

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