Blades Outduel Solar Bears
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (30-10-0-2) scored three unanswered goals in the second period to secure a 3-2 win over the Orlando Solar Bears (20-16-3-1).
FIRST STAR: Stefan Leblanc (FLA) - one goal, +1, game winning goal, one shot
SECOND STAR: Colby Sissons (FLA) - one goal, shorthanded goal, two shots
THIRD STAR: Kevin Lohan (ORL) - one goal, two shots
The Solar Bears struck first late in the first period with a tally from Kevin Lohan. The rookie defenseman drove towards the goal from the flank and snuck the puck under the closing pad of Blades goaltender Jake Hildebrand (15:40).
Only 32 seconds into the second frame, the Solar Bears extended their lead to 2-0. Mark Auk slapped a shot from the point into heavy traffic. The Blades failed to clear and Tristin Langan capitalized on the rebound.
However, the game began to open up for the Blades a few minutes later. Matt Petgrave grabbed his first tally of the season with a shorthanded goal. The play began when Michael Huntebrinker took the puck the length of the ice and wristed a shot towards goal. Orlando netminder Clint Windsor made the initial save, but Petgrave found the back of the net off of the rebound (3:56).
Colby Sissons also grabbed a shorty in the second period. Levko Koper sent in a shot on goal, and Sissons tapped in the rebound past a diving Windsor to tie the game (10:07). Then, the Blades took over the lead with a nice sequence in the offensive zone. Off of a feed from Max Cook, Stefan Leblanc rocketed a shot from the blue line to the upper 90 to make it 3-2 (15:16).
Orlando had a number of opportunities in the third period, but they could not solve Hildebrand. The Everblades goaltender earned his third straight win and his 16th overall.
The Florida Everblades will play the second of three road games against the Orlando Solar on Friday, Apr. 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Amway Center. Florida will face Orlando again on Saturday, Apr. 3 at 7:00 p.m. to complete the road trip.
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