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Kessel Lifts Solar Bears to 4-3 OT Win over IceMen

December 5, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Orlando Solar Bears News Release

ORLANDO, Fla. - Blake Kessel enjoyed a two-point night and netted the game-winning goal as the Orlando Solar Bears (7-9-3-1) rallied from a 3-2 deficit and prevailed in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Jacksonville Icemen (7-9-4-0) on Thursday night at the Jewett Orthopaedic Rink at Amway Center.

Ryan Lohin gave Orlando a 1-0 lead at the 14:58 mark of the first period when he deflected Eric Drapluk's shot from the blue line past Michael McNiven for his second goal of the season.

The Icemen tied the score at 1-1 shortly before the period expired when Mike Hedden flipped the puck from the wall to Dajon Mingo in the slot, and the defenseman snapped a shot past Zachary Fucale at 19:52.

Alexey Lipanov gave Orlando a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 11:05 of the second period when he one-timed a pass from Chris LeBlanc past McNiven for his fourth of the season.

Pierre-Luc Mercier answered for the Icemen at 13:05 with a power-play goal for the visitors, deflecting a shot from Mingo past Fucale to even the contest at 2-2.

Bobby Lynch gave Jacksonville its first lead of the night at 16:48 when he chased down a rebound at the right circle and roofed a shot past a sprawled Fucale.

The Solar Bears responded with a goal from Jake Coughler when Blake Kessel intercepted a clearing attempt along the wall in the Jacksonville zone and found Coughler with a well-placed pass, allowing Coughler to beat McNiven at 17:52 for his second of the season.

After regulation ended with the score tied at 3-3 for the second consecutive game this week, Kessel lifted Orlando to the win in the extra frame when Tristin Langan poked the puck out of the defensive zone to Colby McAuley, who fed Kessel in the slot for the walk-off tally, and his second of the season.

Fucale earned his fourth win of the season with 32 saves on 35 shots against; MicNiven took the overtime loss with 27 stops on 31 shots against.


1) Blake Kessel - ORL

2) Tristin Langan - ORL

3) Jake Coughler - ORL


The victory gives Orlando a lifetime 14-0-0-0 record against Jacksonville on home ice; the Solar Bears lead the current regular season series against the Icemen 4-0-0-0, with three wins coming at home

Kessel has four points (2g-2a) in his last two games - his goal tonight was his 50th career pro goal - he has 206 points (50g-156a) in 407 career games

Coughler has a two-game goal-scoring streak (2g)

Drapluk finished the night with two assists for his first points with the Solar Bears since his acquisition from the Tulsa Oilers in November

Lipanov is now tied for the team lead for goals with Tristin Langan, LeBlanc and Trevor Olson

Lipanov, LeBlanc and Jimmy Lodge each led Orlando with four shots tonight

The win keeps Orlando in fifth place in the South Division but tied in points with Jacksonville and the Atlanta Gladiators, whom the Solar Bears face on Friday and Saturday


The Solar Bears square off against the Atlanta Gladiators for the first time this season on Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7. Saturday's game is also our annual Teddy Bear Toss game - fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used teddy bears or stuffed animals to be thrown onto the ice when the Solar Bears score their first goal of the game.

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