by: This is a press release from the Orlando Solar Bears Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
The Solar Bears notched a shorthanded goal early in the third period to snap a 1-1 tie and secure a 2-1 victory over the Florida Everblades at the Amway Center on Thursday night. Goaltender Garret Sparks stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced in his Orlando Solar Bears debut.
For the eighth straight home game, it was Orlando who struck first. D Bryce Aneloski completed a give-and-go with F Andrew Johnston, and Aneloski took a pass in front of the net, deked to his forehand, and slipped the shot into the back of the net 10:45 into the period. It was the only goal scored in the first as Orlando took the 1-0 lead into the intermission.
In the final minute of the second frame, the Everblades evened the score up at 1-1. While on a 5-on-3 advantage, D Jordan Henry fired a shot that was deflected by F Mathieu Roy and past Solar Bears G Garret Sparks with just 52 seconds left in the period.
Orlando answered right back with a shorthanded goal 1:01 into the final frame. With the Solar Bears short on a 5-on-3, F Zach Harrison knocked down a cross-ice pass and moved the puck out to Baier as he was leaving the penalty box. Baier raced in on a breakaway and fired a shot into the top right corner to restore the lead for Orlando, putting them ahead 2-1. Sparks stood strong in the third period, holding Florida off the board and stopped all 12 shots he faced in the frame to help the Solar Bears to the 2-1 victory.
Three Stars: 1. G. Sparks (ORL); 2. E. Baier (ORL); 3. B. Aneloski (ORL)
Power Plays: ORL: 0/3; FLA: 1/4
Shots: ORL: 19; FLA: 31
D Connor Goggin made his home debut for the Solar Bears tonight... F Wade MacLeod and G Garret Sparks made their Solar Bears debuts... Sparks earned his first professional win... Orlando has now scored first in all eight of their home games... F Zach Harrison extended his points streak to seven games (1g, 8a)... The Solar Bears have now won seven of their last nine games... Orlando improved to 6-2-0-0 on home ice this season.