Late Flurry from Gladiators Sends Solar Bears to 4-3 Loss
DULUTH, Ga. - Despite a three-point night from Chris Crane in his return to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 21, the Orlando Solar Bears (33-29-6-3) surrendered a third-period lead and fell to the Atlanta Gladiators (32-34-2-3) by a 4-3 score on Friday night at Infinite Energy Arena.
Orlando: Chris Crane [PP] (Joshua Winquist, J.J. Piccinich), Crane (Winquist), Mike Monfredo (Crane)
Goaltender: Mackenzie Skapski (30/34)
Atlanta: Taylor Stefishen [PP] (Joe Gatenby, Brady Vail), Zach Todd [PP] (Josh Atkinson, Alex Rauter), Stephen Pierog (Jack Stander, Gatenby), Atkinson (Eric Shand, Rauter)
Goaltender: Dan Vladar (35/38)
ON THE SCORESHEET
Chris Crane returned to the lineup for the Solar Bears after missing the previous 16 contests due to injury, and made an impact when he got Orlando on the board during the team's first chance with the man advantage, swatting a puck that was in the process of falling into the slot past Dan Vladar at 18:30 of the first period to tie the score at 1-1. Crane then gave Orlando its first lead of the night at 15:11 of the second period with his second goal of the evening to make it 2-1. Crane also assisted on Mike Monfredo's goal.
Mike Monfredo pulled Orlando ahead by a 3-2 score at 13:03 of the third period with his seventh of the season.
J.J. Piccinich picked up the primary assist on Crane's goal. The rookie now has a three-game point streak (1g-3a).
Joshua Winquist earned assists on both of Crane's goals, giving the forward a three-game assist streak (4a).
Mackenzie Skapski took the loss for the Solar Bears, making 30 saves on 34 shots against.
Winquist's assist on Crane's goal gave the forward his 22nd power-play point this season; he once again tied Max Novak for the team record for power-play points in a single season, after Novak had moved ahead of Winquist last Saturday against Greenville.
Max Novak led the Solar Bears with eight shots on goal.
The Solar Bears conclude the 2017-18 regular season tomorrow night when they battle the South Carolina Stingrays at 7:05 p.m. at North Charleston Coliseum.
1) Josh Atkinson - ATL
2) Jack Stander - ATL
3) Joe Gatenby - ATL
PLAYOFF TICKETS: The Solar Bears will play the South Carolina Stingrays in the South Division Semifinals of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and will host the following games at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center:
Game 3 - Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m
Game 4 - Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m.
Game 5 - Sunday, April 22 at 6 p.m. (if necessary)
Tickets for the first round of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs are on sale now - fans can purchase tickets starting at $18 through the Amway Center box office or by visiting ticketmaster.com.
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