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Lightning reassign Alexei Melnichuk to Solar Bears

Tuesday, March 22nd
Lightning reassign Alexei Melnichuk to Solar Bears

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ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Solar Bears have announced that the Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned goaltender Alexei Melnichuk to Orlando, while the Lightning have reassigned goaltender Amir Miftakhov from Orlando to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. Furthermore, Solar Bears defenseman Kevin Lohan has been released from his Professional Try-Out agreement with the AHL’s Ontario Reign, and is expected to report to Orlando. The Solar Bears have also signed forward Matt Barry to an ECHL Standard Player Contract.

Melnichuk, 23, was acquired by the Lightning organization from the San Jose Sharks on March 21 in exchange for forward Antoine Morand. In 31 games with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda, Melnichuk has gone 10-14-2 with a 3.92 goals-against average and an .867 save percentage.

The 6-foot-1, 201-pound netminder has appeared in 48 career AHL games with San Jose, going 17-21-5 with a 3.75 GAA and an .867 save percentage. Melnichuk appeared in three NHL games with the Sharks during the 2020-21 season.

Prior to coming to North America, the native of St. Petersburg, Russia played in 32 combined games for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod and SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League, where he went 15-11-3 with a 2.19 GAA, a .920 save percentage and four shutouts.

Miftakhov, 21, has gone 1-2-0 in three appearances with the Solar Bears this season, with a 2.35 GAA and a .922 save percentage. He has appeared in 21 games for Syracuse, going 6-8-3 with a 2.92 GAA, an .895 save percentage and one shutout.

Lohan, 28, has seven points (2g-5a) in 50 games this season with the Solar Bears, his first as the team’s captain. He has skated in three AHL games this season with Ontario and Syracuse.

Barry, 24, joins Orlando after completing his senior season at Miami University, where he finished third in team scoring with 23 points (8g-15a) in 36 games. In 91 combined career games for the RedHawks and the College of the Holy Cross, the 6-foot, 180-pound forward collected 62 points (17g-45a).

The native of Naperville, Ill. played junior hockey for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League, where he was named to the USHL Third All-Star Team in 2017-18 after posting 54 points (17g-37a) in 57 games. He also played in the North American Hockey League for the Bismarck Bobcats, where he was named to the NAHL All-Rookie First Team and the circuit’s Second All-Star Team in 2016-17 following a 59-point (23g-36a) campaign in 59 games.

NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears return home to host Florida on Thursday, March 24 at 7 p.m. at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center for a Thirsty Thursday, featuring $5 domestic draft beers.

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