Solar Bears fall short in comeback bid against Nailers

ORLANDO, Fla. – After giving up three goals in the first period, and at one point trailing by a 5-1 score, the Orlando Solar Bears (21-22-5-1) mounted a comeback attempt against the Wheeling Nailers (27-20-4-0), but ultimately fell short in their rally in a 6-5 decision on Sunday morning at the Rink at Amway Center.

The loss was Orlando’s first-ever defeat to the Nailers, as the Solar Bears had posted an all-time record of 9-0-0-0 against Wheeling prior to Sunday’s game.

The Solar Bears remain in fourth place (48 points) in the South Division. Orlando remains five points behind Atlanta for third place, with two games in hand; The Solar Bears are ahead of fifth-place Greenville by four points with one more game played.

Click here for the box score.

1 2 3 FINAL
ORLANDO 1 2 2 5
WHEELING 3 2 1 6


Orlando: Joe Perry (Chris Crane, Kyle Rankin), Tayler Thompson (Hunter Fejes), Crane (Martins Dzierkals), Perry (Rankin, Chris LeBlanc), Sam Jardine (Fejes, Crane)

Goaltender: Mackenzie Skapski (7/10), Cal Heeter (21/24)

Wheeling: Garret Meurs (Dan Milan, Zach Tolkinen), Cody Wydo (Freddie Tiffels), Riley Bourbonnais [PP] (Wydo, Kevin Schulze), Meurs (Dylan Zink, Cam Brown), Bourbonnais (Jaynen Rissling), Zink [PP] (Nick Sorkin, Bourbonnais)

Goaltender: Adam Morrison (38/43)


  • Joe Perry scored twice for the Solar Bears, getting Orlando on the board with a breakaway goal in the final second of the first period for his ninth of the season. Perry also pulled Orlando back to within two goals at 12:31 of the third period with his 10th of the campaign. Perry now has a two-game goal streak (3g).
  • Tayler Thompson tallied his fourth goal of the season at 10:22 of the second period for the second goal of the game for the Solar Bears.
  • Chris Crane scored Orlando’s third goal, his 10th of the season, at 15:41 of the second period. Crane also assisted on Perry’s first goal, and Sam Jardine’s marker in the third period.
  • Sam Jardine buried his second of the season at 19:18 of the third period with Cal Heeter pulled for an extra skater. Jardine now has a two-game point streak (1g-1a)
  • Kyle Rankin picked up two assists, helping set up both of Perry’s goals.
  • Hunter Fejes also earned two assists, dishing out helpers to Crane and Jardine. Fejes now has two-game assist streak (3a).
  • Martins Dzierkals earned the lone assist on Crane’s tally.
  • Chris LeBlanc provided the secondary assist on Perry’s second goal of the game.
  • Mackenzie Skapski started the game for Orlando but surrendered three goals on seven shots against, and was replaced by Cal Heeter at the 12:15 mark of the first period.
  • Cal Heeter came on to relieve Skapski following Wheeling’s third goal, and took the loss, making 21 saves on 24 shots against in 46:18 of action.


  • Perry led Orlando with six shots on goal.
  • The Solar complete their regular season series with the Nailers on Monday, Feb. 12 at the Rink at Amway Center at 7 p.m. Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and 

1) Riley Bourbonnais – WHL
2) Dylan Zink – WHL
3) Cody Wydo – WHL

About the Orlando Solar Bears:

The Orlando Solar Bears are in their sixth season of operation in the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America, and are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The Solar Bears are owned and operated by the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family, and play at the Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.

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