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Boka scores Teddy Bear Toss goal, but Solar Bears fall 5-3 to Gladiators

Wednesday, December 22nd
Boka scores Teddy Bear Toss goal, but Solar Bears fall 5-3 to Gladiators

ORLANDO, Fla. – Luke Boka scored on the power play to kick off the annual Teddy Bear Toss less than three minutes into the game, but the Orlando Solar Bears (13-11-1-0) gave up three goals in the first period to the Atlanta Gladiators (12-11-2-0) en route to a 5-3 loss on Tuesday night at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center.

Boka sent a flurry of stuffed animals to the ice when he banked the puck in off a defenseman’s skate and past Tyler Parks at 2:10 of the first period and give Orlando a 1-0 lead. The final count of teddy bears and stuffed animals collected was 8,728, a new team record, which will be distributed throughout Central Florida to children and families in need during the holiday season by Orange County Public Schools, Harvest Time International and the Salvation Army.

After the Gladiators reeled off four straight goals by the early second period, Kyle Topping and Aaron Luchuk scored to pull Orlando back to within one, but Atlanta’s Luke Nogard capped the night with an empty-net goal in the third period.

BOX SCORE

1st PeriodORL Goal: Luke Boka (7) [PP] at 2:10. Assisted by Aaron Luchuk and Andrew McLean.ATL Goal: Michael Pelech (5) at 8:59. Assisted by Cody Sylvester.ATL Goal: Michael Pelech (6) at 14:23. Assisted by Cody Sylvester and Derek Topatigh.ATL Goal: Elijah Vilio (3) at 15:16. Assisted by Derek Nesbitt.SHOTS: ORL 13, ATL 22

2nd PeriodATL Goal: Derek Nesbitt (6) at 4:35. Assisted by Michael Pelech and Tyler Kobryn.ORL Goal: Kyle Topping (2) at 5:15. Assisted by Kevin Lohan and Aaron Luchuk.ORL Goal: Aaron Luchuk (12) at 15:23. Assisted by Kyle Topping and Jake Transit.SHOTS: ORL 11, ATL 10

3rd PeriodATL Goal: Luke Nogard (3) [EN] at 19:24.SHOTS: ORL 6, ATL 8

GoaltendingORL: Zach Émond, 35-for-39ATL: Tyler Parks, 27-for-30

NOTABLES:

  • The loss was Orlando’s first of the season when scoring first (11-1-0-0) and only its second defeat on home ice (8-2-0-0).
  • Aaron Luchuk recorded his seventh multi-point game of the season with 1g-2a.
  • Andrew McLean pushed his point streak to three games (1g-4a) with an Boka’s goal.
  • Jake Transit earned his first pro assist to extend his point streak to three games (2g-1a).

NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears return from the holiday break when they host the Florida Everblades for the first time this season, on Sunday, Dec. 26 at 7 p.m. at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center. Sunday’s game is a VyStar Solar Bears Sunday – the first 100 VyStar Credit Union Members to show their VyStar debit/credit card at the Amway Center box office can score a pair of free tickets to the game. Once all 100 pairs of tickets are claimed, VyStar members can still take advantage of a buy-one-get-one ticket offer.

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