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Solar Bears dealt blow to playoff hopes in 3-1 loss to Swamp Rabbits

Saturday, April 16th
Solar Bears dealt blow to playoff hopes in 3-1 loss to Swamp Rabbits

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Tyler Bird scored to give the Orlando Solar Bears (33-30-6-1) a 1-0 lead by the first intermission, but the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (39-27-3-2) reeled off three straight goals to deal Orlando a serious blow to its playoff hopes in a 3-1 loss on Friday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Bird scored his 19th of the season when he forced a turnover in the neutral zone and broke in with Ross Olsson on a give-and-go play before beating John Lethemon to put the Solar Bears ahead 1-0.

Greenville tied the game early in the second period after Liam Pecararo redirected a centering feed at the side of the net past Amir Miftkahov for a power-play tally, and Ayden MacDonald put Greenville ahead after he knocked in his own rebound on a breakaway past Amir Miftakhov.

MacDonald added an empty-net tally in the final second of regulation to seal the game for Greenville.

With the loss, the Solar Bears (.521) fail to reduce their Magic Number towards clinching a berth in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs, which remains at six points. Orlando must win at Jacksonville on Saturday, while Greenville (.543) must lose both of its remaining games two games at Norfolk in regulation for the Solar Bears to qualify for the postseason.

BOX SCORE

1st PeriodORL Goal: Tyler Bird (19) at 12:41. Assisted by Ross Olsson.SHOTS: ORL 15, GRN 9

2nd PeriodGRN Goal: Liam Pecararo (23) at 1:43. Assisted by Alex Ierullo and Max Zimmer.GRN Goal: Ayden MacDonald (18) at 9:53.SHOTS: ORL 10, GRN 11

3rd PeriodGRN Goal: Ayden MacDonald (19) [EN] at 19:59.SHOTS: ORL 14, GRN 12

GoaltendingORL: Amir Miftakhov, 25-for-27GRN: John Lethemon, 35-for-36

NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears conclude the regular season when they visit the Jacksonville Icemen on Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

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