Solar Bears End November with 12-6-0-1 Record
Orlando, FL - The Orlando Solar Bears, proud affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild and Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL's Iowa Wild and Toronto Marlies, earned a 9-3-0-0 record in the month of November and are now 12-6-0-1 on the season. The Solar Bears have won six straight games on home ice dating back to a November 7th (4-1) win over the Elmira Jackals. Those six wins tie the longest home winning streak from last season.
The offensive charge has been led by forwards C.J. Severyn (17 points), Mike Ullrich (15 points), Zach Harrison (14 points), and Tyler Murovich (10 points). Murovich recently earned his 100th ECHL point when he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over the Greenville Road Warriors on Tuesday, November 26th. Ullrich scored a dramatic game-tying goal on the road against the Evansville IceMen on November 15 when he redirected a pass from C.J. Severyn just inside the post with just 1:13 left on the clock. Orlando went on to win the contest in a shootout to stretch their road winning streak to three games.
Along the blue line, the Solar Bears have seen contributions from a number of players. D Bryce Aneloski is fifth in team scoring and first among Solar Bears defensemen with nine points. He also leads the team with a +9 rating. D Blake Kessel, who was acquired from the Bakersfield Condors at the beginning of the month, has picked up four points for the Solar Bears in three games surrounding a two-week call up the Rockford IceHogs. Orlando's captain, D Eric Baier, is third in scoring among Orlando blue-liners with six points. He notched a game-winning tally against the Florida Everblades on Thursday, November 21, when he picked the top corner of the net on a shorthanded breakaway early in the third period. Along with the shorthanded goal, the Solar Bears boast the fifth best penalty kill in the 23-team ECHL.
Goaltending has proven to be a source of strength for the Solar Bears this season, with John Curry, Christopher Gibson, and Garret Sparks seeing action. Sparks has won four of his five starts for Orlando and has been named the Keena Wealth First Star three times and Second Star once. He picked up his first career shutout on Tuesday, November 26, when he stopped all 30 shots he faced to make a 1-0 first period lead stand up for a Solar Bears victory. John Curry was named the ECHL Goaltender of the Week for the second time in his Solar Bears career for Nov. 4-10 when he went 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .943 save percentage. Christopher Gibson, currently recalled to the Toronto Marlies, earned his first pro win in late October when he stopped 21 of 22 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators.
The Solar Bears have been busy off the ice as well. On Monday, November 25th, the Solar Bears ownership, players, and Shades joined more than 100 golfers at the Alaqua Golf Course to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's "65 Roses" Golf Tournament. The event raised over $70,000 to help combat Cystic Fibrosis!
That same day, the management and players of the Orlando Solar Bears, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and other Central Florida volunteers helped lead the Community Food & Outreach Center's "Give Thanks, Give Food" event. Solar Bears assisted in the distribution of more than 350 meals to help families in need around the Thanksgiving holiday.
On Saturday, November 9, Shades, the Solar Bears Players, and the Solar Bears Dance Team participated in the City of Orlando's Veteran's Day Parade. The parade was hosted by Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Mayor's Veterans Advisory Council. The Solar Bears were proud to walk alongside 100 other parade units to give thanks to the heroes of our country.
December promises to be another jam-packed month, and it starts with four games in five nights this week. On Wednesday, December 4, Orlando welcomes the Colorado Eagles to town for the first-ever contest between Colorado and Orlando. The Solar Bears then host Teacher Appreciation Weekend presented by Nova Southeastern University when they battle South Division rival South Carolina on Friday, December 6th, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 7th, at 7:00 p.m. The weekend closes with Colorado again on Sunday afternoon, December 8th, at 3:00 p.m. After a short three game road trip, the Solar Bears host the Greenville Road Warriors on Sunday, December 22, at 7:00 p.m. and close December out with two games against the Florida Everblades on Saturday, December 28, and Monday, December 30.
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