ESTERO, Fla. - The Solar Bears jumped to a two goal lead in the first period and held on to earn a 4-3 shoout victory over Florida Everblades at the Germain Arena on Friday Night. F Taylor Matson notched a goal and an assist in the win for the Solar Bears.
An early period power play set up the game's opening tally. F Taylor Matson skated over the blue line and dropped the puck to D Blake Kessel. Kessel snapped a pass across the ice to F Mickey Lang, who slipped a shot inside the left post for a power play at 6:48 of the first. Matson then knocked home a goal of his own at 11:10 after he collected a rebound on a shot from D Eric Baier, moved to his backhand and lifted the shot over a sprawling G Scott Stajcer to bring the score to 2-0. Florida answered with a goal of their own on the top end of a double minor power play when F Danick Gauthier pounced on a rebound in the goal crease at 15:44 to cut the lead in half. Orlando led 2-1 after 20 minutes of action. (Photo Credit: Al Larson)
The first goal of the second stanza came late in the frame, as the Everblades tied the contest. D Bryce Lampman directed a puck towards the front of the net and F Philip-Michael Devos collected a rebound off the post and slammed it into the net at 14:52. The Solar Bears struck back before the end of the frame, when F Kory Nagy spun a backhand shot through traffic and between the legs of Stajcer to restore the Orlando lead at 3-2 going into the third.
Just over five minutes into the third period, Florida evened up the scoring once again. Devos fired a shot from the right wing and F Mathieu Roy deflected the shot into the top right corner of the net to knot the score at 3-3. Neither side was able to tally through the rest of regulation or overtime as the two clubs headed to a shootout. F Mickey Lang, F Mike Duco, and F Michael Catenacci each struck in the shootout and G Christopher Gibson stopped three of the four shots he faced as the Solar Bears collected the 4-3 shootout win over Florida.
Three Stars: 1. M. Duco (ORL); 2. M. Roy (FLA); 3. P. Devos (FLA)
Power Plays: ORL: 1/4; FLA: 1/2
Shots: ORL: 29; FLA: 36
With the win, the Solar Bears are 8-5-0-2 on the road this season, last season the Solar Bears won a total of eight road games... Orlando improved to 4-0-0-0 when scoring first on the road and 5-0-0-0 when leading after the first and second periods on the road... Orlando is 6-1-0-0 on the road on Friday nights... The Solar Bears have earned at least one point in each of their last seven games and are 3-0-0-1 in their last three road games... F Ian Slater returned from his four game ECHL suspension today... F Trevor Gillies served the final game of his five game ECHL suspension. He is eligible to return tomorrow...