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Game Preview: Solar Bears vs. Gladiators | Oct. 23, 2021

Saturday, October 23rd
Game Preview: Solar Bears vs. Gladiators | Oct. 23, 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (0-0-0-0) open their 10th season of play in the ECHL as they welcome the Atlanta Gladiators (0-0-0-0) to the City Beautiful for the first time since March 3, 2020, just nine days prior to the ECHL suspending its 2019-20 campaign and ultimately canceling the season a few days afterwards. The Solar Bears hold a lifetime record of 38-30-6-4 (.551) against Atlanta; Orlando is 21-11-2-1 (.643) on home ice against the Gladiators.

  • FAN FEST: Be sure to join us on Church Street for Fan Fest prior to the game, featuring Solar Bears cornhole, DJ, Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co. beer garden, smoothie sampling from Planet Smoothie and more!  
  • The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive Solar Bears clappers, presented by VyStar Credit Union!  
  • Lennar Homes is using the proceeds from Saturday's chuck-a-puck intermission contest to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!  
  • Visit the Janney Roofing table on the concourse to enter to win a free roof from Janney Roofing, official roofer of the Solar Bears! This season, Janney Roofing is the presenting sponsor of every Solar Bears power play. During the 2021-22 season, Janney Roofing and the Solar Bears are teaming up to donate $200 for every power-play goal scored on home ice to benefit Central Florida Children's home!  

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • The Solar Bears went 2-1-0-0 in the preseason over three games with the Jacksonville Icemen and Florida Everblades. Atlanta pulled off a 3-2 overtime win against South Korean club Anyang Halla.  
  • Joe Garreffa and Kyle Topping led Orlando – and the ECHL – in scoring during the preseason with five points apiece.  
  • Drake Berehowsky enters his seventh season as Orlando’s head coach over the course of two stints with the club; he is the club’s all-time winningest coach with 196 victories.  
  • San Jose Sharks prospect Zach Émond will open the season as Orlando’s No. 1 goaltender. The sixth-round draft pick in 2018 went 1-1-0 in the preseason with 51 saves on 57 shots against in two games.  
  • After joining the Solar Bears last season and leading the ECHL in scoring with 74 points in 72 games, Aaron Luchuk needs only four more points to hit 150 in his ECHL career, after skating in 150 games with Orlando, Brampton and Newfoundland. Luchuk will skate on a line tonight with Nick Bligh and rookie Jackson Keane.  
  • The Solar Bears boast two former Gladiators on their roster with forward Nick Bligh, who skated for Atlanta between the 2018-20 seasons, and goaltender Brad Barone, who made his ECHL regular season debut in a 36-minute appearance in 2015-16. Atlanta, meanwhile, has forward Michael Turner, who appeared in nine games with Orlando in the 2017-18 season and owns the record for the fastest goal in team history, but has not played since March 30, 2019 for Wichita.

NEXT GAMES: The Solar Bears return to action when they visit the Gladiators for Atlanta’s home opener on Friday, Oct. 29 at 7:35 p.m. at GasSouth Arena. Orlando is back home to face the Jacksonville Icemen on Sunday, October 31 at 1 p.m. at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center for “Boo with the Bears” and the first VyStar Credit Union Solar Bears Sunday of the season.

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