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Bear Bites: Week of March 28, 2022

Monday, March 28th
Bear Bites: Week of March 28, 2022

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears continue their drive for a postseason berth this weekend with a home-and-home series against the South Carolina Stingrays, beginning Friday, April 1 at the North Charleston Coliseum, before returning home to host the Stingrays on Saturday, April 2 at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center.

THIS WEEK’S GAMES:

  • Friday, April 1 at South Carolina Stingrays – 7:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 2 vs. South Carolina Stingrays – 7 p.m. – First Responders Appreciation Night, presented by VyStar Credit Union + 2 p.m. Guns N’ Hoses charity game

Guns N’ Hoses Makes Its Return

The Solar Bears will host the Guns N’ Hoses charity game at 2 p.m. between the Central Florida Enforcers and Orange County Fire Rescue. Purchase your game ticket for the Solar Bears vs. Stingrays game that evening to attend the Guns N’ Hoses charity game using the special links below. $2 from each ticket purchased will go towards supporting the St. Baldrick’s Foundation (OC Fire Rescue) and Concerns of Police Survivors (Central Florida Enforcers).

PRACTICE SCHEDULE:

  • Monday, March 28 at RDV Sportsplex Ice Den – Day Off
  • Tuesday, March 29 at RDV Sportplex Ice Den – Day Off
  • Wednesday, March 30 at RDV Sportsplex Ice Den – 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, March 31 at RDV Sportsplex Ice Den – Travel Day
  • Friday, April 1 at North Charleston Coliseum – Morning skate/Gameday

All Solar Bears practices at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den are open to the public. Practice times are subject to change.

PLAYOFF PICTURE:

Entering this week, the Solar Bears are currently seeded in fourth place in the South Division and have 67 points through 63 games (.532) with eight games remaining. Orlando’s biggest threat to securing a spot in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs in the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, seeded fifth in the South Division with 63 points through 61 games with 11 remaining. Currently, the Solar Bears can finish with a maximum of 83 points in 71 games for a points percentage of .585, while the Swamp Rabbits can finish with a maximum of 85 points in 72 games for a points percentage of .590. Orlando and Greenville face each other once more this season on April 15; should both teams continue to win all of their other remaining games, the winner of the April 15 match will advance to the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Thus, Orlando’s magic number is currently 16 points.

The Orlando Solar Bears along with VyStar Credit Union, have announced the launch of a co-branded debit card, available now for all VyStar Credit Union members.

Fans can get a Solar Bears debit card when they open a VyStar account with a minimum balance of $5 at any branch location. They can also apply for membership online at apply.vystarcu.org but will need to visit a branch to get a Solar Bears card. Current members can request a co-branded card by visiting a branch, calling 800-445-6289 or speaking to a VyChat representative at www.vystarcu.org.

AT A GLANCE

SEASON RECORD: 31-27-4-1 (.532)LAST WEEK’S RECORD: 2-0-0-1RECORD IN LAST 10 GAMES: 4-5-0-1SOUTH DIVISION STANDINGS: 4th of 7

ACTIVE LEADERS

TOP SCORER: Tristin Langan – 42 pointsMOST GOALS: Brian Bowen – 21MOST ASSISTS: Michael Brodzinski – 34 assistsPIM LEADER: Ross Olsson – 102 PIMPLUS-MINUS LEADER: Tyler Bird – +11

LAST WEEK’S GAMES:

Thursday, March 24 vs. Florida Everblades: 4-3 OTWAlexei Melnichuk made 23 saves and Maxim Cajkovic scored in overtime to snap a five-game winless skid and get Orlando back in the win column.

Friday, March 25 vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits: 4-1 WCajkovic broke a 1-1 tie in the second period that ultimately stood up as the game-winner, Melnichuk made 30 saves and Aaron Luchuk recorded a goal and two assists in his return from the AHL as Orlando picked up a critical win against Greenville.

Sunday, March 27 vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits: 4-3 SOLLuchuk scored with the goaltender pulled with just over half a minute left in regulation to force overtime and secure a vital point, but the Solar Bears ultimately fell in the shootout for the first time this season.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT:

Shades spent Monday dropping off coffee and breakfast for members of our local law enforcement, firefighters and EMS workers as we prepare for our First Responders Appreciation Night, presented by VyStar Credit Union, this Saturday!

BITES:

  • Michael Brodzinski became the top-scoring defenseman in franchise history last week, passing Eric Baier (111 points); Brodzinski has 114 points (24g-90a) in 187 games with Orlando; he is currently tied for seventh in scoring among ECHL defensemen this season with 41 points.
  • Brodzinski and Aaron Luchuk led the Solar Bears last week in scoring with five points apiece.
  • Maxim Cajkovic enters the week with a three-game point streak (3g-1a); he leads the Solar Bears with four game-winning goals this season.
  • Brad Barone leads all goaltenders with 1,279 saves.
  • Orlando leads the regular season series with South Carolina with a 4-2-0-0 record.
  • The Solar Bears are 19-1-1-1 when leading after two periods.
  • Orlando leads the ECHL with 12 road wins when tied after the first period.

BEARS IN THE NHL:

Several former Solar Bears have appeared on NHL rosters during the 2021-22 season – here we will track their performance:

Player

Position

Team

Stats

Hugo Alnefelt*

Goaltender

Tampa Bay Lightning

1 GP, 0-0-0, .700

Zach Fucale*

Goaltender

Washington Capitals

4 GP, 1-1-1, .924%

Christopher Gibson*

Goaltender

Florida Panthers

0 GP

Connor Ingram*

Goaltender

Nashville Predators

2 GP, 1-1-0, .906%

Darcy Kuemper

Goaltender

Colorado Avalanche

46 GP, 30-9-3, .923%

Mason Marchment

Forward

Florida Panthers

40 GP, 14g-22a

Spencer Martin*

Goaltender

Vancouver Canucks

3 GP, 1-0-2, .958%

Ryan Reaves

Forward

New York Rangers

56 GP, 2g-8a

Garret Sparks*

Goaltender

L.A. Kings

2 GP, 1-0-0, .936%

* Currently assigned to AHL

BEAR TRACKS PRESENTED BY PINK WHITNEY BY NEW AMSTERDAM VODKA:

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Odeen Tufto joins us for the latest episode of Bear Tracks, presented by Pink Whitney by New Amsterdam Vodka. Tufto, a former captain at Quinnipiac University, signed with the Lightning in the spring of 2021, and scored a goal and two assists in his first game with the Solar Bears in mid-January. The Chaska, Minnesota native discusses his upbringing, his time winning a state championship in high school, his love of the Austin Powers movies, and his musical talent.

BECOME A VYSTAR CREDIT UNION MEMBER! 

VyStar Credit Union is the official credit union of the Orlando Solar Bears – take advantage of member benefits including discounted tickets and more! 

CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A VYSTAR CREDIT UNION MEMBER

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Greenville Swamp Rabbits @ Orlando Solar Bears
Friday, April 26th
Greenville Swamp Rabbits @ Orlando Solar Bears
Puck Drops:
7:00 PM EDT
Kia Center
Greenville Swamp Rabbits
GVL Greenville Swamp Rabbits
at
Orlando Solar Bears
ORL Orlando Solar Bears
Kia Center
Greenville Swamp Rabbits @ Orlando Solar Bears
Saturday, April 27th
Greenville Swamp Rabbits @ Orlando Solar Bears
Puck Drops:
9:00 PM EDT
Kia Center
Greenville Swamp Rabbits
GVL Greenville Swamp Rabbits
at
Orlando Solar Bears
ORL Orlando Solar Bears
Kia Center
Greenville Swamp Rabbits @ Orlando Solar Bears
Sunday, April 28th
Greenville Swamp Rabbits @ Orlando Solar Bears
Puck Drops:
7:00 PM EDT
Kia Center
Greenville Swamp Rabbits
GVL Greenville Swamp Rabbits
at
Orlando Solar Bears
ORL Orlando Solar Bears
Kia Center

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