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Solar Bears comeback falls short in 6-5 loss to Everblades

Sunday, March 13th
Solar Bears comeback falls short in 6-5 loss to Everblades

ESTERO, Fla. – After seeing a 2-1 lead in the first period slip away, a depleted Orlando Bears (29-24-4-0) lineup found itself trailing the Florida Everblades (32-17-4-4) 6-3 in the third period. A late comeback attempt with two goals in the final minute of regulation ultimately came up short, as Orlando fell by a 6-5 final to Florida on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.

Everblades forward Joe Pendenza netted a hat trick and added an assist to lead the way for the hosts after Dylan Fitze and Maxim Cajkovic put Orlando ahead by one after the opening 20.

Pendenza was part of a three-goal run in the second period that gave Florida a 4-2 edge heading into the third period, bookending John McCarron’s power-play tally with a goal of his own on the man advantage, and one at even strength.

After Joe Garreffa scored a power-play goal less than four minutes into the third to pull the Solar Bears within one, Pendenza netted a shorthanded goal for his third of the night, while Alex Aleardi scored the eventual game-winner with an empty-net tally to make it 6-3 in favor of the Everblades.

The Solar Bears did not go away, however, as Odeen Tufto and Luke Boka scored 31 seconds apart to pull Orlando back to within one of the Everblades, but the visitors could not find the tying score as time expired.

BOX SCORE

1st PeriodORL Goal: Dylan Fitze (10) at 2:17. Assisted by Joe Garreffa.FLA Goal: John McCarron (25) [PP] at 9:32. Assisted by Jake McLaughlin and Blake Winiecki.ORL Goal: Maxim Cajkovic (4) at 15:43. Assisted by Tristin Langan and Odeen Tufto.SHOTS: ORL 6, FLA 15

2nd PeriodFLA Goal: Joe Pendenza (21) [PP] at 4:28. Assisted by John McCarron and Jake McLaughlin.FLA Goal: John McCarron (26) [PP] at 11:08. Assisted by Jake McLaughlin and Blake Winiecki.FLA Goal: Joe Pendenza (22) at 16:43. Assisted by Dylan Vander Esch.SHOTS: ORL 9, FLA 13

3rd PeriodORL Goal: Joe Garreffa (9) [PP] at 3:57. Assisted by Odeen Tufto and Luke McInnis.FLA Goal: Joe Pendenza (23) [SH] at 6:18.FLA Goal: Alex Aleardi (23) [EN] at 18:04.ORL Goal: Odeen Tufto (7) [PP] at 19:13. Assisted by Maxim Cajkovic and Michael Brodzinski.ORL Goal: Luke Boka (14) at 19:44. Assisted by Michael Brodzinski and Maxim Cajkovic.SHOTS: ORL 8, FLA 9

GoaltendingORL: Brad Barone, 31-for-36FLA: Cam Johnson, 18-for-23

NOTABLES:

  • The Solar Bears only dressed 14 skaters for the game due to the unavailability of several players.
  • Orlando now trails the 15-game regular season series with Florida; Orlando is 5-6-0-0 while Florida is 6-4-1-0; the Solar Bears face Florida in three of their next four games.
  • Maxim Cajkovic logged his first three-point night (1g-2a) in his North American pro career.
  • The loss was Orlando’s first regulation defeat of the season when leading after the first period (8-1-2-0).
  • The Solar Bears are now 11-2-1-0 on the road when scoring three or more goals.  

NEXT GAMES: Orlando continues its four-game road trip when the team visits the Atlanta Gladiators on Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m. at Gas South Arena. 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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