Game Preview: Solar Bears at Stingrays
WHO: Orlando Solar Bears at South Carolina Stingrays
VENUE: North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, S.C.
DATE: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7:05 p.m.
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TONIGHT: The Orlando Solar Bears (8-9-4-1) take on the South Carolina Stingrays (16-2-2-0) for the second time in an eight-day span, after the Solar Bears picked up their first victory of the season over the Stingrays last Monday, winning by a 4-3 score in overtime. This is the sixth of 12 total meetings this season against South Carolina. The Solar Bears have points in their last four road games, going 2-0-2-0 during a stretch in mid-November.
BEREHOWSKY HITS 300TH GAME TONIGHT: Solar Bears head coach and general manager Drake Berehowsky will work his 300th career game behind the bench tonight for Orlando. In 299 career regular season professional games as a head coach - all with the Solar Bears - he has a record of 141-122-36 (.532) over the course of two stints with the organization and has guided Orlando to three consecutive playoff appearances. His 299 games coached and 141 victories are both franchise records.
MONFREDO RETURNS: Solar Bears captain Mike Monfredo will make his return to the lineup tonight after he was activated from injured reserve. Monfredo missed the previous 10 games for Orlando, which had gone 5-2-3-0 in his absence. The veteran blueliner, who ranks third in club history with 151 career games played, will tie Scott Tanski for second on the franchise list when he takes the ice tonight.
FITZE ALSO BACK IN: Forward Dylan Fitze is expected to make his return to the lineup after sitting out the last five games. Prior to that, the second-year pro had appeared to be breaking out of an offensive slump with two points (1g-1a) and 12 total shots against Utah and Norfolk.
60-MINUTE EFFORT REQUIRED TONIGHT: The Solar Bears will need to deliver one of their better performances of the season tonight in order to come away with the win. Their opponent has only trailed after two periods once this season, and owns an 0-1-0-0 record in that scenario.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: The Stingrays enter tonight's game riding a seven-game point streak (5-0-2-0). Opportunities on the power play will likely be scarce for the Solar Bears, as South Carolina is averaging the sixth-lowest number of penalty minutes per game. The Stingrays also rank just behind Orlando in effectiveness on the penalty kill with a 88.8% rate (71-for-80).
The Solar Bears continue their road trip when they visit the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:05 p.m. The Solar Bears return home to face the Kansas City Mavericks for the first time since the 2016-17 season on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. for a Wine Down Wednesday; fans can take advantage of $5 wine specials during the game.
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