DULUTH, Ga. – Michael Brodzinski and the Orlando Solar Bears (12-12-4-1) enjoyed a dominant performance Saturday night against the Atlanta Gladiators (11-15-0-0), as the defenseman recorded a six-point (1g-5a) game and the Solar Bears recorded a franchise-record five power-play goals en route to an 8-2 victory at Infinite Energy Arena.
Thomas Frazee put the Gladiators up 1-0 off the opening shift, as the forward slipped the puck underneath Clint Windsor just 12 seconds into the game.
Jimmy Lodge tied the score for Orlando at 1:32 of the second period when his wrist shot from above the left circle beat Sean Bonar for Lodge’s third goal of the season.
The Gladiators re-took the lead when Mikhail Shalagin coughed the puck up to Logan Nelson shortly after Nelson had served an earlier infraction and exited the penalty box; the Atlanta forward raced up the ice before beating Windsor at 7:41.
The Solar Bears found themselves on the man advantage at 12:28 when Robert Powers was sent off for tripping, and after Shalagin drew a tripping penalty on Alexey Solovyev at 13:42, the coaching staff called for a time-out prior to beginning a 5-on-3 man advantage.
The breather paid off for the Solar Bears, as it touched off a run of five consecutive power-play goals.
The scoring binge started when Brodzinski slid the puck down to Chris LeBlanc at the left circle, who threaded the puck across the slot to Alexey Lipanov, who buried his sixth of the season at 14:12 to tie the score.
Atlanta’s Chris Forney was then sent off for tripping at 14:31, keeping Orlando at a 5-on-3 power play, and Brodzinski buried his fourth of the season at 14:46 with a wrister from the top of the slot to put the Solar Bears ahead 3-2.
Brodzinski then fed Rich Boyd for a one-timer at 15:40 for the rookie’s fourth of the season.
LeBlanc netted his team-leading ninth of the season when he forced an Eric Drapluk rebound over the goal line at 7:06 of the third period; Brodzinski picked up the secondary assist.
Tristin Langan finished off the record-setting night on the power play when LeBlanc swooped behind the net and emerged near the left post, dishing the puck to Langan, who fired home his eighth of the season at 8:15.
Moments later, a line brawl broke out at 8:52 which was highlighted by Windsor and Bonar meeting at center ice – the two goaltenders shed their helmets, gloves and blockers and proceeded to scrap briefly before Windsor wrestled Bonar to the ice. Both goaltenders, along with Kevin Lohan and Josh Thrower, were ejected from the game, prompting Zachary Fucale to take over in net for the Solar Bears, while Ben Halford did the same for the Gladiators.
Dylan Fitze wired a shot past Halford at 9:03 for his second of the season, and Marcus Crawford buried his first of the year at 15:41 to close out the scoring.
Windsor earned his fifth win of the season with 24 saves on 26 shots against, while Fucale stopped all seven shots he faced in relief; Bonar took the loss with 28 stops on 34 shots against, while Halford went 7-for-9 after replacing Bonar.
- Michael Brodzinski – ORL
- Chris LeBlanc – ORL
- Alexey Lipanov – ORL
- Orlando went 5-for-7 on the power play – the five power-play goals scored by the Solar Bears surpassed the team’s previous mark of four, set on Nov. 19, 2017 at Greenville (4-for-7, 7-6 win)
- Brodzinski’s six points set a new Solar Bears single-game record, surpassing the previous mark of five (four times, last: Brent Pedersen, March 1, 2019 at Florida); the blueliner’s five assists also shattered the previous mark of four (four times, last: Max Novak, March 17, 2018 at Florida); Brodzinski’s five power-play points and four power-play assists were also new franchise marks; the defenseman leads all ECHL blueliners in the month of December with 16 points (3g-13a) in 11 games
- LeBlanc has a two-game point streak (3g-2a)
- Langan recorded his third consecutive multi-point game, and has a three-game point streak (2g-4a)
- Lipanov’s two-point outing extended his point streak to three games (2g-3a)
- Shalagin picked up two assists on the evening, extending his point streak to three games (2g-2a)
The Solar Bears return home to face the Jacksonville Icemen on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 7 p.m. for a Thirsty Thursday, presented by Coors Light; fans can take advantage of $5 domestic drafts during the game. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for this game.
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The Orlando Solar Bears will wear new jerseys for the 2019-20 season. Replica jerseys are available for purchase online, with adult sizes available for $149.95 and youth sizes available for $109.95. Fans can visit bit.ly/OSBJerseys to place their order today.
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.
2019-20 Season Presented by XYMOPrint:
The 2019-20 Orlando Solar Bears season is presented by XYMOPrint, Orlando’s digital printing experts. As a special offer, fans who call XYMOPrint at (888) 223-9390 from now until June 15, 2021 and reference the Solar Bears will receive 15% off their first order and a free Orlando Solar Bears poster!
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.