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Game Recap: Solar Bears Edged 5-4 by Gladiators in Home Opener

October 29, 2017 - ECHL (ECHL) - Orlando Solar Bears News Release

ORLANDO, Fla - Despite multi-point efforts from Chris Crane, Jeff King and Zach Stepan, and an enthusiastic Opening Night crowd of 9,319, the Orlando Solar Bears (2-2-0-0) fell short of the Atlanta Gladiators (2-4-0-0) by a 5-4 score on Saturday night at the Rink at Amway Center.


Click here for the box score.




Orlando:  Jeff King (Zach Stepan, Mike Monfredo), Chris Crane (Todd Skirving, King), Joshua Winquist [PP] (Nolan Valleau, Crane), Max Novak [PP] (King, Stepan)


Goaltenders: Cal Heeter (14/19)


Atlanta:  Derek Nesbitt (Colin Jacobs, Alex Gacek), Patrick D'Amico (Ben Marshall), Marshall (Phil Lane), Tanner Pond (Ben Danford, Josh Atkinson), Lane (Thomas Frazee, Lindsay Sparks)


Goaltender:  Matt Ginn (39/43)



Jeff King got Orlando on the board with his first professional goal at 7:29 of the first period when Zach Stepan swept the puck along the half boards back to the right point, and King's shot snuck through a screen to beat Matt Ginn. King added an assist on Chris Crane's goal, and dished out the primary assist on Max Novak's second-period goal on the man advantage. Chris Crane netted his third of the season at 8:10 when he collected a Todd Skirving rebound and swept it past Ginn to give the Solar Bears a 2-1 lead. Crane now has recorded at least a point in all four games this season for Orlando (3g-3a). Zach Stepan had a two-assist outing for Orlando, assisting on King's goal and helping set up Max Novak's power-play marker in the second. He now possesses a two-game assist streak (4a). Josh Winquist netted Orlando's first tally on the man advantage this season, firing a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that beat Ginn glove-side at 7:26 of the second to tie the score at 3-3. He now possesses a two-game goal streak (2g). Max Novak got his first of the season less than two minutes later, slamming a pass from King through the pads of Ginn at the left circle at 9:03 for Orlando's second power-play goal, giving the Solar Bears a 4-3 advantage at that point. Novak is now riding a two-game point streak (1g-2a) Nolan Valleau earned an assist on Winquist's goal; he now has a two-game assist streak (3a). Cal Heeter made his first start since Orlando's first game of the season on Oct. 14, making 14 saves on 19 shots against.



After going 0-for-23 on the man advantage to start the year, the Solar Bears broke through on back-to-back power play sequences in the second period, with Winquist and Novak providing the goals for Orlando. Winquist is now two goals away from 50 in his career. Orlando is now 3-3-0-0 in ECHL home openers. Orlando is now 1-1-0-0 when outshooting opponents. Orlando now sits in fourth place in the South Division, tied in points with Atlanta (seeded fifth, .333 win percentage) and Norfolk (seeded sixth, .286 win percentage).



1) Phil Lane - ATL

2) Jeff King - ORL

3) Chris Crane - ORL


The Solar Bears seek a weekend split as they continue their Opening Weekend series with Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 1:30 p.m. Sunday's game is a FAIRWINDS Sunday: 200 FREE tickets will be made available to FAIRWINDS members who show their FAIRWINDS debit or credit card (limit two free tickets per card) and their ID at ticket windows 11 or 12. Once all 200 free tickets have been claimed, FAIRWINDS members can still take advantage of BOGO tickets for that evening's game. Click here for more information.


Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and


The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL's Toronto Marlies, and play all of their home games at the Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.


Full Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017-18 season are on sale now. Purchase an Orlando Solar Bears Full Season Ticket Membership for as little as $440 today!  Click here or call (407) 951-8200 for more information.


Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at

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Orlando Solar Bears | 8701 Maitland Summit Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32810

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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