ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (2-1-0-0) seek their first road victory of the season tonight against the Norfolk Admirals (3-2-0-0). This is the first of a two-game road set against Norfolk this season; all remaining six games against the Admirals will be played in Orlando.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The Solar Bears have a lifetime record of 15-9-2-2 (.607) against the Admirals and will play Norfolk a total of eight times during the 2021-22 season.
- Due to several call-ups that have taken place this week, Orlando is expected to dress only fourteen skaters for tonight’s game. The Solar Bears announced earlier today that they had signed defenseman Andrew McLean from the Knoxville Ice Bears of the SPHL.
- Forward Aaron Luchuk was named the Warrior Hockey ECHL Player of the Month for October on Wednesday after tying for the league lead with eight points (4g-4a) in three games. Luchuk enters tonight’s game tied with Norfolk’s Daniel Brickley and Wichita’s Matteo Gennaro for the league lead in power-play points with four.
- After making six saves on six shots in 17 minutes of relief action last Friday at Atlanta, goaltender Brad Barone is expected to get his first start with Orlando tonight. Barone posted a 9-5-2 record last season 21 combined appearances with Rapid City and Utah.
- Following his activation off the reserve list on Monday, forward Luke Boka is expected to make his professional debut tonight for the Solar Bears. It will be his first game of competitive hockey since the 2019-20 season with the Windsor Spitfires, after his Queen’s University team did not play last season. Boka is expected to play on a line with his former Windsor teammate Aaron Luchuk and Kryštof Hrabík.
- The Admirals are in their first year of a new affiliation agreement with the Carolina Hurricanes and the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. The Admirals are currently first in the South Division and are seeking their first trip to the playoffs since the Admirals brand returned to the ECHL in 2015-16. Alex Tonge leads the Admirals in scoring with seven points (3g-4a) in four games. Through five games Norfolk ranks just behind Orlando at fourth in goals scored per game (3.80), but ranks 24th in goals allowed per game (3.80).
- Drake Berehowsky enters today’s game two wins shy of 200 career ECHL coaching victories, all with the Solar Bears. His 198 wins are the most by a head coach in team history.
NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears finish their two-game road set against the Admirals on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Norfolk Scope. The Solar Bears return home to face the Icemen on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center.