ESTERO, Fla. - The Orlando Solar Bears struck for two power play goals, but fell by the final score of 6-3 to the Florida Everblades at Germain Arena on Friday Night. The two teams will meet again tomorrow at the Germain Arena at 7:00 p.m.
Florida struck first, when a turnover in the neutral zone led to a 2-on-1 rush for the Everblades. F David Rutherford gathered a pass and snapped a shot over the shoulder of G Drew Palmisano at 5:22 of the frame. Orlando evened the score at 1-1 just over seven minutes later, as F Thomas Beauregard carried the puck out of the left wing corner and slid a puck through the legs of Everblades G Pat Nagle. The goal came on the power play at 12:31. It didn't take long for Florida to regain their edge, as F Corey Trivino slapped a bouncing puck past Palmisano at 15:06, and 23 seconds later F Aaron Bogosian tallied to stretch the lead to 3-1.
1:13 into the second period, the Everblades stretched their lead to 4-1 when F Brandon MacLean struck for Florida. Orlando came right back, once again on the power play. After a flurry of shots, F Ian Watters found a rebound in front of the net and lifted the puck just under the crossbar to cut Florida's lead to two. The Everblades ended the period on a beautiful pass from F Chad McQuaid that found Trivino wide open, lifting the Everblades to a 5-2 advantage.
The Solar Bears clawed their way back to within two when a shot from D Edward Levens was deflected by F Brett Lyon with 11:47 to play. Orlando's comeback effort was cut short, as Rutherford added his second goal of the night with 6:20 left in the contest, boosting the Everblades to a 6-3 victory.
"This game gave me a great opportunity to evaluate some of our younger players," said Head Coach Drake Berehowsky.
Forward T.J. Fox was released prior to the start of the game... The Solar Bears scored their first two goals of the game on the power play... F Brad Townsend received a five-minute major for fighting in the second period... G Brooks Ostergard entered the game 1:19 into the third period and played the remainder of the contest... Power plays: ORL: 2/7; FLA: 0/6... Shots: ORL: 32; FLA: 33.