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Solar Bears move back into playoff position with 4-3 OT win

Friday, March 25th
Solar Bears move back into playoff position with 4-3 OT win

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears (30-27-4-0) moved back into playoff positioning with a 4-3 overtime win over the Florida Everblades (34-17-6-4) on Thursday night at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center.

With the victory, Orlando’s points percentage improved to .525, leapfrogging the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (.517) into fourth place in the South Division ahead of this weekend’s pair of home games against Greenville.

The Everblades established a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Luke Boka got Orlando on the board late in the frame when he deflected Michael Brodzinski’s shot from the left point for his 15th of the season.

Brian Bowen, skating in his Orlando debut after a trade earlier in the week, tied the game at 2-2 for the Solar Bears when he received a pass from Tristin Langan off the half boards and roofed a shot past Tomas Vomacka midway through the second period.

Cole Moberg then gave the Solar Bears their first lead of the night minutes later with the home team on the man advantage, firing a shot from the right point that struck Dylan Vander Esch’s skate and caromed into the net.

Florida’s John McCarron tied the game in the third period with his league-leading sixth shorthanded goal and

Goaltender Alexei Melnichuk made 23 saves to earn the win in his first start with the Solar Bears after he was reassigned to the club by the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this week.

BOX SCORE

1st PeriodFLA Goal: Jordan Sambrook (2) at 6:51. Assisted by Dylan Vander Esch and Avery Peterson.FLA Goal: Joe Pendenza (24) at 14:59. As Assisted by Dylan Vander Esch and Avery Peterson.ORL Goal: Luke Boka (15) at 18:01. Assisted by Michael Brodzinski and Hunter Fejes.SHOTS: ORL 12, FLA 9

2nd PeriodORL Goal: Brian Bowen (21) at 12:43. Assisted by Tristin Langan and Cole Moberg.ORL Goal: Cole Moberg (2) [PP] at 14:36. Assisted by Tristin Langan and Maxim Cajkovic.SHOTS: ORL 9, FLA 8

3rd PeriodFLA Goal: John McCarron (28) [SH] at 6:23.SHOTS: ORL 8, FLA 7

OvertimeORL Goal: Maxim Cajkovic (5) at 2:44. Assisted by Michael BrodzinskiSHOTS: ORL 3, FLA 2

GoaltendingORL: Alexei Melnichuk, 23-for-26FLA: Tomas Vomacka, 38-for-32

NOTABLES:

  • Moberg matched his previous career-high of two points.
  • Cajkovic’s game-winner was his third of the season for Orlando.
  • Matt Barry made his pro debut and logged one shot on goal, and drew the penalty against Joe Pendenza that led to Moberg’s power-play goal.
  • Michael Brodzinski contributed two assists for his ninth multi-point game of the season; Orlando is 8-1-0-0 when Brodzinski has a multi-point game.
  • Tristin Langan also dished out two helpers, for his 12th multi-point effort of the season; the Solar Bears are 11-0-1-0 when Langan has a multi-point outing.
  • Orlando’s victory snapped a stretch of five consecutive games without a win, it’s longest of the season.
  • The win was Orlando’s ninth of the season after allowing the first goal.
  • Orlando is now 20-2-1-0 when scoring four or more goals; and 26-10-2-0 when allowing three goals or fewer.
  • The Solar Bears improved to 16-9-2-0 this season when scoring a power-play goal.  

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.

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