ESTERO, Fla. — Tristin Langan scored the opening goal and netted the eventual shootout winner as the Orlando Solar Bears (9-6-1-0) mounted a third-period comeback against the Florida Everblades (12-5-0-1) to win 3-2 in the shootout for their third consecutive victory on Friday night at Hertz Arena.
Langan broke a 0-0 deadlock at 4:23 of the second period when Michael Prapavessis fed Langan at the right circle and the forward beat Jake Hildebrand for his third of the season.
ECHL leading scorer Michael Huntebrinker evened the score for Florida on a penalty shot at 7:43, and John McCarron put the hosts ahead 2-1 at 17:23 following a lengthy review for potential goaltender interference.
The Solar Bears stormed back in the third period when Chris LeBlanc stole the puck and raced in on Hildebrand, snapping a shot off the crossbar and into the net at 7:35 for his team-leading fifth of the season.
Jake Coughler appeared to give the Solar Bears a 3-2 lead with just 50 seconds left on the clock in regulation, but another lengthy review did not conclusively prove the puck had completely crossed the goal line, sending the game to overtime, and the eventual shootout.
Orlando fell behind in the bottom of the second round when Huntebrinker scored, but Coughler subsequently tied it up in the third round, and Garret Sparks stopped his next four shots, allowing Langan to bury the eventual winning tally in the sixth round, before stopping Logan Roe to secure the win.
Garret Sparks earned the win with a 31-for-33 save performance on the evening to pick up his fourth victory of the season, while Hildebrand logged an identical 31-for-33 effort in the shootout loss for Florida.
- Orlando’s win was its first road victory at Florida this season; the Solar Bears improved to 3-5-1-0 against the Everblades
- The Solar Bears are now 6-0-0-0 when scoring first, and improved to 3-4-0-0 when trailing after the second period
- LeBlanc’s goal was the 39th of his Solar Bears career, giving him sole possession of third on the team’s franchise leaderboard and passing Brett Findlay
- Sparks’ win was his 30th career victory with Orlando, making him only the second goaltender in team history to reach the 30-win mark, following Ryan Massa
- Prapavessis earned the assist in his Solar Bears debut
THREE STARS:1) Tristin Langan - ORL2) Garret Sparks - ORL3) Jake Hildebrand - FLA
The Solar Bears continue their seven-game road trip against the Florida Everblades at Hertz Arena on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. The Solar Bears are back on home ice to host the Florida Everblades at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
2020-21 Season Ticket Memberships on Sale Now:
Upgrade to Solar Status and become a Season Ticket Member today. Season ticket memberships for the 2020-21 season are now on sale and start as little as $279 – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
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About the Orlando Solar Bears:
The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and members of the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America. In eight 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 the AdventHealth 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.