ORLANDO, Fla. — Despite goals from J.J. Piccinich and Tyler Bird, the Orlando Solar Bears (20-17-3-1) fell to the Florida Everblades (31-10-0-2) for a second consecutive evening by a 3-2 score on Friday at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center.
The Solar Bears started strong int he first period, out-shooting Florida 17-9, but neither team found the back of the net.
Marcus Vela gave the Everblades an early lead in the second period when he deflected a shot from Stefan Leblanc at 2:33.
Hugo Roy then scored off the rush at 8:41 to put Florida up by two.
J.J. Piccinich got Orlando on the board at 10:49 with his seventh of the season when he fired a pass from Chris LeBlanc past Jordan Papirny.
Michael Huntebrinker snapped a shot past Michael Lackey at 13:07 to restore the two-goal edge for the visitors.
Tyler Bird pulled Orlando back to within a goal of the opposition with a shorthanded goal at 2:09 of the third period for his ninth of the season.
The Solar Bears pulled Lackey for an extra skater with under three minutes remaining in regulation, but despite maintaining possession were unable to solve Papirny for the tying score.
Lackey went 24-for-27 in the loss; Papirny made 38 stops on 40 shots against.
THREE STARS:1) Michael Huntebrinker - FLA2) Marcus Vela - FLA3) Jordan Papirny - FLA
- Orlando is 6-11-2-1 against Florida this season
- The Solar Bears did not have an opportunity with the power play, the first time this season Orlando did not have a chance on the man advantage
- LeBlanc’s assist on the goal from Piccinich was LeBlanc’s 111th career point (40g-71a), moving him into a tie with Eric Baier for fourth on the team’s all-time scoring list
- Bird’s goal extended his career-best point streak to six games (3g-4a)
The Solar Bears close out the week when they host Hockey Fights Cancer Night, presented by XYMOPrint, against the Florida Everblades at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center on Saturday, April 3 p.m. at 7 p.m.