ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (5-5) saw their seventh season of ECHL hockey come to a close on Friday night at Amway Center, as they fell to the Florida Everblades (8-3) by a 2-1 score in double overtime in Game 5 of the South Division Finals. At 94:48, the game was the longest game the Solar Bears have ever played in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Florida took the series 4-1.
Click here for the box score.
Hunter Fejes netted his team-leading seventh goal of the postseason on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush with Otto Somppi after Alexander Kuqali poked the puck ahead to Fejes in the defensive zone. The speedster raced up the ice with Somppi and snapped a shot from the left circle that beat Callum Booth underneath the goalie’s glove at 6:53 of the opening frame.
Michael Downing tied it for the Everblades at 14:02 when he blasted a shot from the blue line past a screened Connor Ingram.
Those goals would be the lone tallies in regulation, as the two teams remained tied at 1-1 at the end of 60 minutes of play.
Ingram and Booth traded saves in the first overtime, as Orlando outshot Florida by a slight margin of 10-9, sending the Amway Center crowd to its first ever double-overtime contest.
John McCarron won the game for the Everblades at 14:48 of the second extra frame when Ingram came out of his crease to play the puck, but Michael Neville stole the puck from the goaltender who tapped it over to McCarron for a shot into the open net.
Ingram took the loss with 49 saves on 51 shots against; Booth picked up the win with 48 stops on 49 shots against.
THREE STARS1) John McCarron – FLA2) Callum Booth – FLA3) Connor Ingram – ORL
- The Solar Bears’ five wins tied the franchise mark from 2018 for the most victories for the club in a single playoff year.
- The game was Orlando’s fifth of the 2019 postseason requiring overtime to determine the outcome – this postseason marked the most overtime games played by Orlando.
- The double-OT loss broke the previous record of 90:23 for the longest playoff game in franchise history, surpassing Orlando’s 4-3 road win over South Carolina on April 17 in Game 3 of the South Division Semifinals.
- Fejes led the Solar Bears for the postseason with eight points (7g-1a) in eight games. His seven goals set a new postseason mark for Orlando.
- Alexander Kuqali led the team in the playoffs with five assists and a plus-minus of +7. His five assists are the most by a Solar Bears defenseman in a single playoff year, and his +7 set a new club postseason mark.
- Ingram played every minute of the postseason in net for Orlando. His 681 minutes played, five wins and 316 saves set new club postseason records for goaltenders.
- Mike Monfredo suited up in his 19th playoff contest with the Solar Bears, tying Eric Baier for the most playoff games in franchise history.
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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 seven seasons of operation, the team has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs five times. The Solar Bears are owned and operated by the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family, and play 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.