ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears picked up a few points after a busy weekend, which saw them face-off against both of their state rivals in the Jacksonville Icemen, and the Florida Everblades.
Let’s take a look back at the last week.
Friday, January 15th at Jacksonville Icemen:
After a surprise upset the previous Saturday, which saw the Icemen getting the best of Orlando by a score of 4-1, Orlando came out on top in a shootout victory, resulting in both teams picking up points.
Nick Saracino opened up scoring at 7:39 in the first period on the man advantage, making the score 1-0 for the hosts. However, later on in the opening frame, Orlando’s Taylor Cammarata was credited with his first tally of the season, on a redirected shot from the point, nullifying Jacksonville’s lead.
The Icemen took their lead back again with a Pascal Aquin one-timer which beat Orlando’s Garret Sparks. The marker came at 7:51 on the Icemen’s twelfth shot of the game.
In the final period, a pair of goals scored by Tyler Bird and Jerry D’Amigo gave the Solar Bears their first lead of the game. However, that lead was quickly erased as Jared VanWormer knotted things up just 21 seconds later.
After a scoreless seven minutes of 3-on-3 hockey, the game advanced to a shootout, much to the delight of 3,608 spectators. In the second round, Dylan Sadowy, a former Kalamazoo Wing who was picked up last week, beat goaltender Eamon McAdam, which would prove to be the lone goal of the shootout.
Both squads took 35 shots on goal, with Sparks earning his first win since being reassigned from the Calgary Flames. Sadowy earned the first star of the game, while teammate Tad Kozun, who recorded an assist on every Solar Bears goal, and Saracino following suit.
Saturday, January 16th vs. Florida Everblades:
The Solar Bears struggles with the Florida Everblades continued as they dropped their contest with the on Saturday night by a final score of 6-3.
Just over a minute in, Florida’s Blake Winiecki out his side on top, however, less than a minute later, Alan Lyszczarczyk tied things at one apiece.
Halfway through the second, captain John McCarron put one past Orlando’s netminder Michael Lackey, making it 2-1 for the visitors. Soon after, defenseman Logan Roe extended Florida’s lead on the powerplay. Hero of Friday’s game, Dylan Sadowy, recorded a powerplay goal at 17:29, reducing the Everblades’ deficit by one, however, this was quickly erased by Tommy Marchin in the final minute of the period.
In the third, Orlando’s captain Chris LeBlanc tipped a shot from the point on the man-advantage at 6:01 making things interesting at 4-3. However, Luke Nogard, who was making his debut with the Everblades, scored his first goal with the team with less than four minutes remaining. McCarron sent the fans home with an empty-netter soon after.
Lackey faced a large total of 46 shots, fending off 41 of them, while Jake Hildebrand earned the victory with 24 saves.
Orlando, who struggled on the powerplay opening the season, recorded two tallies, improving their record. John McCarron was the first star with four points.
Sunday, January 17th vs. Florida Everblades:
The Solar Bears closed out their weekend with an overtime loss to the Florida Everblades, therefore splitting potential points for the week.
After a scoreless first period, while on the powerplay, Michael Huntebrinker gave Florida their first goal of the game at 11:54 in the second. However, Jake Coughler tied things up at 18:39, making the score one each. After leaving the sin bin, defenseman Logan Roe broke Orlando netminder Garret Sparks with a second remaining in the period.
Opening the final frame, Sadowy notched his second goal of the weekend on the power-play, tying things up yet again. This did not go unanswered, however, as Jeff Mallot earned his first professional goal less than a minute later. Former Fort Wayne Komet Alan Lyszczarczyk sent the game into overtime with a lamplighter with 1:57 left in regulation.
Just thirty seconds into extra time, John McCarron, who recorded four points in Saturday’s battle, put away the game beating Sparks.
Coincidentally to Friday’s contest against Jacksonville, both teams recorded 35 shots on goal.
New Segment of Schedule Released:
Last Friday, the ECHL announced the third portion of its schedule for all participating teams, including the Fort Wayne Komets, who will be entering play in February.
The new phase of Orlando’s games will consist of 23 games, with 11 being at home and 12 being on the road. They will battle against division rivals for all 23 of these games, with 17 being against either Jacksonville or Florida.
*All times are Eastern, subject to change
Saturday, February 13th at Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:05 pm
Sunday, February 14th at Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 3:05 pm
Wednesday, February 17th at Florida Everblades at 7:30 pm
Friday, February 19th at Florida Everblades at 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 20th vs. Florida Everblades at 7:00 pm
Friday, February 26th vs. Jacksonville Icemen at 7:00 pm
Saturday, February 27th at Jacksonville Icemen at 7:00 pm
Sunday, February 28th at Jacksonville Icemen at 3:00 pm
Friday, March 5th vs. Florida Everblades at 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 6th vs. Florida Everblades at 7:00 pm
Sunday, March 7th vs. Florida Everblades at 3:00 pm
Tuesday, March 9th vs. South Carolina Stingrays at 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 13th at Florida Everblades at 7:00 pm
Wednesday, March 17th at Jacksonville Icemen at 7:00 pm
Friday, March 19th at Jacksonville Icemen at 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 20th vs. Jacksonville Icemen at 7:00 pm
Sunday, March 21st at Jacksonville Icemen at 3:00 pm
Friday, March 26th vs. South Carolina Stingrays at 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 27th at South Carolina Stingrays at 6:05 pm
Sunday, March 28th at South Carolina Stingrays at 3:05 pm
Thursday, April 1st vs. Florida Everblades at 7:00 pm
Friday, April 2nd vs. Florida Everblades at 7:00 pm
Saturday, April 3rd vs. Florida Everblades at 7:00 pm
What’s Next for the Solar Bears?
The Solar Bears will face the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for the first time this season with a three-game set at home. These contests will take place on Wednesday, January 20th, Friday, January 22nd, and Saturday, January 23rd. Puck drop for all three games will be at 7:00 pm Eastern.
Aiden Foley covers the Orlando Solar Bears for The Sin Bin. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @SinBinSolarBear.