ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (29-27-4-0 / .517) open a three-game homestand against the Florida Everblades (34-17-5-4 / .642) tonight at 7 p.m at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center. Orlando is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Everblades on Saturday as the club closed out a four-game road trip. The Solar Bears find themselves in need of a win to earn enough points to jump ahead of Greenville back into fourth place after the Swamp Rabbits earned a 2-1 win last night vs. Trois-Rivières.
THIRSTY THURSDAY: Tonight’s game features $5 domestic draft beers.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The Solar Bears and Everblades have played each other 13 times this season out of a 15-game regular season series; Orlando owns a 5-8-0-0 record against Florida.
- Goaltender Alexei Melnichuk is expected to start for the Solar Bears tonight, after the netminder was acquired in a trade by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday and reassigned to Orlando. Melnichuk appeared in three NHL games last season with the San Jose Sharks.
- Odeen Tufto leads the Solar Bears in scoring against Florida with nine points (4g-5a) in seven games.
- Brian Bowen and Matt Barry are both expected to make their Solar Bears debuts tonight; Bowen was acquired on Monday in a trade with the Utah Grizzlies, while Barry signed with Orlando after completing his collegiate career at Miami University (Ohio).
- The Solar Bears are 16-7-4-0 in games decided by one goal this season.
- Orlando is 12-4-2-0 when scoring a goal in the first period on home ice.
- Florida’s John McCarron is tied for fifth in the ECHL with 27 goals.
NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears host the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center for Teacher Appreciation Night, presented by First Watch and Deaf/Hard of Hearing Night.