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Bear Bites: Week of Dec. 21, 2020

Monday, December 21st
Bear Bites: Week of Dec. 21, 2020

The Orlando Solar Bears enter the week with a rare slate of no games, as the team makes final preparations for its home opener for the 2020-21 season against the Jacksonville Icemen at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m.

UPCOMING GAMES:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 29 vs. Jacksonville Icemen at 7 p.m. – HOME OPENER
  • Wednesday, Dec. 30 vs. Florida Everblades at 7 p.m. – WINE-DOWN WEDNESDAY ($5 WINE SPECIALS)
  • Saturday, Jan. 2 at Florida Everblades at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 3 vs. Florida Everblades at 3 p.m. – VYSTAR CU SOLAR BEARS SUNDAY (DISCOUNTED TICKET OFFER FOR VYSTAR MEMBERS)

SEASON RECORD: 2-1-0-0LAST WEEK’S RECORD: 2-0-0-0TOP SCORER: Ryan Lohin – 4 points (2g-2a)PIM LEADER: Dmitry Semykin – 10 PIMPLUS-MINUS LEADER: Alex Green – +4

LAST WEEK’S GAMES:

Friday, Dec. 18 at Wheeling: 4-2 WThe Solar Bears used a three-goal performance in the second period to ride their way to an eventual 4-2 victory over the Nailers for their first victory of the season. Devante Stephens led the way for Orlando with a goal and an assist, and Chris LeBlanc scored his 36th career goal with the Solar Bears to secure the win and move him into a tie for fifth on the team’s goal-scoring list. Clint Windsor made 22 stops to get the win.

Saturday, Dec. 19 at Wheeling: 3-2 OTWIt was a night dominated by offensive contributions from players loaned to Orlando through the Tampa Bay Lightning pipeline, as Peter Abbandonato gave Orlando a 1-0 lead in the first period. After Wheeling scored twice in the second to take a 2-1 lead, Jimmy Huntington tied the score with Orlando’s first power-play goal of the season in the third period, sending the game to overtime, where 2018 Lightning draft pick Alex Green buried his first pro goal for the game-winning tally to give the Solar Bears a two-game sweep for the weekend. Garret Sparks, making his first start of the season, picked up the win with 26 saves.

BITES:

  • Garret Sparks’ win on Saturday was his 27th career win with the Solar Bears, moving him into a tie with John Curry for second on the team’s career wins list; he is also the first Solar Bears goalie to appear in at least one game in four separate seasons
  • Clint Windsor (.911) and Sparks (.929) are one of only three goaltending tandems in the league in which each netminder has a save percentage of at least .910 or greater
  • Aaron Luchuk and J.J. Piccinich each netted their first points of the season on Saturday, dishing out two helpers apiece
  • Jimmy Huntington (1g-2a) and Ryan Lohin (2g-2a) each carry a three-game point streak into next week’s games
  • Chris LeBlanc needs only four more points for 100 in his career with the Solar Bears (35g-61a) – he has played 176 career games with Orlando, the most among any forward in team history
  • Alex Green leads all rookie defensemen in plus-minus at +4
  • Last week’s pair of wins over Wheeling gives the Solar Bears a lifetime 8-1-0-0 record at WesBanco Arena, out-scoring the opposition 39-20
  • Prior to Saturday’s victory, the last time the Solar Bears had won after trailing an opponent entering the third period was on Feb. 16, 2020 vs. Atlanta (5-2 W)
  • Orlando’s 18 shots in the second period of Friday’s game is tied for the second-most shots in a single period in any ECHL game this season  

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