After getting through a busy weekend that concluded with a two-game split with the Indy Fuel, the Orlando Solar Bears now head into the home stretch.
With just under two months remaining in the 2021-22 season, all of Orlando’s remaining opponents will be within the South Division.
It starts with Wednesday’s game down in Estero, which could feature the Solar Bears debut of Shawn Element, on loan from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. The rookie forward signed a two-year AHL deal with Syracuse last spring after wrapping up his major junior career by celebrating a championship with his hometown Victoriaville Tigres in the QMJHL; along the way, Element also had stops with Cape Breton, Acadie-Bathurst and Baie-Comeau.
As the Solar Bears returned to the ice at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den on Tuesday, Element found himself skating on a line with fellow rookies Luke Boka and Jake Transit. The coaching staff likes the sandpaper that Element plays with.
So what should fans expect?
In his pro debut with Syracuse in October, Element chipped in two assists. He’s found the back of the net twice this season, and has five points in total. So far this season, Element has gotten into four fights as well; if his January 17 tilt with Colby Williams is any indication, Element can certainly hold his own.
As Element himself explains:
“I’m a physical guy, hard-working too. You’ll see me trying to hit bodies all around.”
That of course undersells Element’s shot, which has some velocity behind it.
Fans will likely get their firsthand look at just what Element can do tomorrow, when the Solar Bears battle the Everblades at Hertz Arena. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. and the game can be watched on FloHockey.