McAuley scores hat trick to lift Solar Bears to 4-2 win over Growlers

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – Colby McAuley made an immediate impact in his return to the lineup, as he scored less than a minute into the game and potted two more for a hat trick, as the Orlando Solar Bears (32-21-4-0) doubled up the Newfoundland Growlers (39-17-4-0) by a 4-2 score on Saturday night at Mile One Centre.

Click here for the box score.

McAuley, fresh off his reassignment from the San Jose Barracuda earlier in the week, opened the scoring just 32 seconds into the contest when he teamed up with Mitch Hults and Troy Bourke on a breakout, and blew past a defender through the right circle before beating Eamon McAdam for his eighth of the season.

The Growlers tied the score at 1-1 in the second period when Adam Pardy fed Derian Plouffe from the left corner, and Plouffe snapped a shot past Connor Ingram at 2:45.

McAuley helped Orlando re-take the lead at 8:50 when Bourke chased the puck down behind the Newfoundland net and flipped a pass back to McAuley at the left circle. McAuley then wired a shot past McAdam for his second of the evening.

Trevor Olson netted a power-play goal at 13:43 as Bourke made his way up the right wall, pivoted, and fed Olson in the slot for a one-timer to make it 3-1 with Olson’s 15th of the season.

The Growlers pulled back to within a goal of the Solar Bears at 14:08 of the third period, as Garret Johnston’s shot from the left point found the back of the net past a screened Ingram.

McAuley completed the hat trick performance moments later when the forward pounced on a Newfoundland turnover committed in the Orlando zone, and promptly made his way to the opposite end of the ice and stuffed the puck past a sprawled McAdam at 15:46.

Ingram picked up his first win with Orlando by making 25 saves on 27 shots against; McAdam took the loss with 21 stops on 25 shots against.

THREE STARS
1) Colby McAuley – ORL
2) Mitch Hults – ORL
3) Brady Ferguson – NFL

NOTABLES:

  • Orlando improved to 2-2-0-0 in the regular season series with the Growlers. The final regular season contest between the two clubs will be held tomorrow afternoon.
  • The Solar Bears are now 22-0-0-0 when leading after two periods.
  • Hults finished the night with two assists in his 100th career professional game, and now has a two-game assist streak (3a).
  • Olson’s goal was his fourth game-winner of the season, giving him sole possession of the team lead. The Solar Bears are now 12-0-1-0 in games in which the rookie finds the back of the net.

NEXT GAMES: The Solar Bears conclude their series with the Newfoundland Growlers at Mile One Centre tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 p.m. EST. The Solar Bears return home on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. for a Wine Down Wednesday against the Florida Everblades, featuring $5 wine specials throughout the game. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for this game.

2019-20 Season Ticket Memberships on Sale Now:

Upgrade to Solar Status and become a Season Ticket Member today. Season ticket memberships for the 2019-20 season are now on sale and start as little as $270 – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

2018-19 Season Presented by XYMOPrint:

The Orlando Solar Bears are proud to have local digital printing experts XYMOPrint as the presenting sponsor of the 2018-19 season. As a special offer, fans who call XYMOPrint at (888) 223-9390 from now until June 15, 2019 and reference the Solar Bears will receive 30% off their first order of 500 business cards.

2018-19 Single-Game Tickets Now on Sale: 

Single-game tickets for the Orlando Solar Bears 2018-19 regular season home schedule are now on sale. Fans can purchase single-game tickets for as little as $15 at the Amway Center box office, or online at Ticketmaster.com.

About the Orlando Solar Bears:

The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and members of the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America. In six seasons of operation, the team has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs four times. The Solar Bears are owned and operated by the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family, and play at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.

Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.