ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (33-21-4-1) rallied from a 4-1 deficit against the Florida Everblades (43-15-5-0) and forced overtime to secure a point, but ultimately suffered their first shootout loss of the season in a 5-4 defeat on Wednesday night at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center.
Click here for the box score.
The Everblades opened up the scoring when Shane Walsh beat Connor Ingram from the slot at 7:46.
Troy Bourke answered for the Solar Bears at 10:37 with his ninth of the season.
Florida then went on a three-goal run, as Phillippe Hudon scored at 12:12 of the first and Nathan Perkovich scored at 5:56 and 7:18 of the second period to stake the visitors to a 4-1 lead, and prompted Orlando to replace Ingram with Corbin Boes in goal.
The Solar Bears started their comeback attempt at 14:15 of the second period when Tayler Thompson corralled a loose puck in the high slot and wristed a shot that beat Brandon Helvig for his sixth of the season.
Otto Somppi and Kevin Lohan then teamed up 47 seconds later to pull Orlando to within one goal of the Everblades. Lohan drew a penalty against Florida when he was tripped up by the stick of Derek Sheppard, and as play continued with the delayed whistle, the defenseman sent a pass from the right point to the side of the net, where Somppi deflected the puck past Helvig at 15:02 for his seventh of the season.
Cody Donaghey evened the score at 4-4 at 19:38 during a 5-on-3 man advantage, as the defenseman blistered a one-timer past Helvig for his 13th goal of the season.
Neither team scored throughout the remainder of regulation, and both teams secured a point as the game went to overtime. The five-minute extra session yielded no change to the score, sending the game to the penalty shot contest.
After Orlando elected to shoot first, Michael Brodzinski was unable to solve Helvig in the top of the first round, while Perkovich found the back of the net for Florida.
Bourke scored in the second round for Orlando, but Blake Winiecki gave the Everblades a 2-1 edge on his turn, placing the pressure on Mitch Hults to net the tying score to keep the Solar Bears alive. The forward attempted to tuck the puck past Helvig, but the goalie stuck his leg pad out to seal the game.
Boes took the shootout loss with 12 saves on 12 shots against in 37:38 of relief action; Helvig picked up the win with 26 stops on 30 shots against.
THREE STARS1) Blake Winiecki – FLA2) Nathan Perkovich – FLA3) Otto Somppi – ORL
- Orlando owns a 5-3-1-1 record against Florida this season, with two games remaining in the regular season series.
- The Solar Bears are 10-0-4-1 in games that extend beyond regulation this season.
- Bourke has seven points (2g-5a) over his last two games.
- Donaghey’s power-play goal gives him 17 points (6g-11a) registered on the man advantage this season, which matches Nolan Valleau’s 2017-18 performance (6g-11a) for the single-season club record by a defenseman.
NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears host the Idaho Steelheads on Saturday, March 16 at 7 p.m. for First Responders Appreciation Night. Prior to the game, the team will host its seventh annual Guns N’ Hoses charity game between the Central Florida Enforcers and Orange County Fire Rescue, with a portion of ticket proceeds to benefit Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. CLICK HERE for more information and purchase tickets.
2019-20 Season Ticket Memberships on Sale Now:
Upgrade to Solar Status and become a Season Ticket Member today. Season ticket memberships for the 2019-20 season are now on sale and start as little as $270 – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
2018-19 Season Presented by XYMOPrint:
The Orlando Solar Bears are proud to have local digital printing experts XYMOPrint as 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.
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.