JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Defenseman Mark Auk lifted his team to a win in overtime and the Orlando Solar Bears (19-13-3-1) reached the halfway point of the 2020-21 season with a 3-2 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen (14-14-2-3) on Sunday afternoon at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
The game appeared to be headed for a 0-0 score near the end of the first period, but the Icemen beat the buzzer after a dump-in from Wacey Rabbit caromed off the end-boards back to Derek Lodermeier, who beat Clint Windsor at 19:59 to put Orlando in a 1-0 hole.
Kyle Topping tied the score with his third of the season when his pass into the slot deflected off Jason Binkley’s skate past Charles Williams at 1:21 of the second period. Anthony Repack then gave Orlando its first lead of the afternoon when Alexander Kuqali’s shot from the blue line glanced off Repaci’s helmet and into the net. The goal was initially waived off for a high-sticking call, but the officials ultimately reversed the decision, and Repaci’s second goal of the season stood at 1:40.
Pascal Aquin tied the score late in the frame with a shot that beat Windsor above his blocker at 17:42, and the team’s would play without a tie-breaking goal recorded in the third, sending the game to overtime.
Auk won it for the Solar Bears in the extra frame when he received a pass from Aaron Luchuk and snapped a shot past Williams at 2:14 for his fourth of the season. The goal was briefly reviewed before it was confirmed that the puck had completely entered the net.
Windsor picked up his ninth win of the season with a 35-for-37 day; Williams took the loss with a 15-for-18 effort.
THREE STARS:1) Mark Auk - ORL2) Clint Windsor - ORL3) Mike Szmatula - JAX
- The Solar Bears improved their lead in the regular season series against Jacksonville to 7-3-1-0 with the win
- The win was the seventh time Orlando has won a game this season after surrendering the first goal (7-12-1-0)
- Luchuk recorded two assists for the afternoon; he is currently tied for third in league scoring with 36 points (15g-21a)
- Auk is currently second in scoring among ECHL defensemen with 26 points (4g-22a) split between Orlando and Rapid City
The Solar Bears remain on the road as they visit the South Carolina Stingrays at North Charleston Coliseum on Friday, March 26 at 7:05 p.m. The Solar Bears are back home when they host Burrito Day Bash, presented by Qdoba, against the Florida Everblades at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center on Thursday, April 1 p.m. at 7 p.m.