Lang hat trick leads Solar Bears to victory

by: Orlando Solar Bears Updated:

GREENVILLE, S.C. - F Mickey Lang struck twice in the first, once in the second, and assist on the game winning goal in the third as Orlando defeated the Greenville Road Warriors 4-3 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday night. F Jacob Cepis recorded three assists in the contest for Orlando.

C Jordie Johnston opened up the scoring for the the Road Warriors. D Andrew Himelson fired a puck into the offensive zone, got his own rebound off the end boards, and moved a pass to Johnston who slammed a shot from the slot into the back of the net to put Greenville ahead 1-0 at 5:25. Orlando answered back just under seven minutes later, as Cepis faked a pass to the blue line and fired a shot off G Jason Missiaen. Cepis got his own rebound and moved the puck to Lang on the left post, and Lang one-timed it into the back of the net to tie the game. Lang struck again at 15:09, this time taking a rebound off a shot from D Corey Fienhage and slipping the puck inside the left post to give Orlando the 2-1 lead after the first.

Less than a minute into the second stanza, Greenville locked the score at 2-2. C Andrew Rowe quickly moved the puck to RW Josh Nicholls on the left side of the net, and Nicholls was able to slide a shot under the left pad of G Cody Reichard 46 seconds into the period. Lang snapped the 2-2 tie to earn his hat trick at 13:59. D Eric Baier poked the puck to Cepis on the left side of the neutral zone, and Cepis sprung Lang for a breakaway opportunity. Lang skated through the slot and snapped his shot through the five hole of Missiaen to grant the Solar Bears a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.

Once again, Greenville would find the game-tying goal. A power play chance early in the third period set up a shot from D Brad Cole, and after the puck settled just in front of the crease Nicholls swept it inside the post for the power play marker at 6:27. The Solar Bears came right back, as Lang snapped a pass to F Michael Catenacci who one-timed the puck into the back of the net 16 seconds later, putting Orlando ahead 4-3. It proved to be the game winning goal as Reichard stopped 29 shots, including 12 in the third, and Orlando picked up their 13th victory in the last 15 games by a 4-3 final score.

Three Stars: 1. M. Lang (ORL); 2. J. Nicholls (GRN); 3. J. Cepis (ORL)
Power Plays: ORL: 0/1; GRN: 1/2
Shots: ORL: 35; GRN: 32

Notes:
The Solar Bears improved to 11-3-0 in Friday night games, including an 8-2-0 record in road games on Friday nights... F Mickey Lang picked up his second hat trick as Solar Bear. He leads the league with 37 goals and has six goals in his last four games... Orlando has now had a player post a hat trick in back-to-back games after F Jacob Cepis notched a hat trick for the Solar Bears on Tuesday night... F Jacob Cepis had three assists in the game and now has seven points in his last two games. His three assists also gave him his 100th ECHL assist.