Solar Bears Fall to Admirals in Wild 7-6 OT Battle
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Solar Bears (27-19-4-0) earned a point in a game dominated by offense, but ultimately came up short in a 7-6 overtime loss to the Norfolk Admirals (22-25-4-3) on Thursday night at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center.
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The Admirals raced out to an early 2-0 lead as Darik Angeli snapped a shot past Martin Ouellette just 29 seconds into the contest, and Jake Wood buried a breakaway opportunity at the three-minute mark.
It appeared Domenic Alberga was in position to extend the Admirals lead to three goals 4:49 into the frame, but Ouellette robbed the Norfolk captain with a lunging glove save, and that effort appeared to energize the Solar Bears.
Moments later, Corey Kalk got Orlando on the board with his ninth tally of the season at 5:19, as the rookie finished a tic-tac-toe play in the offensive zone with Tayler Thompson and Zach Frye before finally stuffing the puck past Ty Reichenbach.
A potential game-tying score at 7:37 was negated when it was ruled that Thompson had kicked the puck into the net.
The Admirals restored their two-goal edge when Don Olivieri netted a power-play goal past a screened Ouellette at 17:25.
The Solar Bears responded on another penalty kill a few minutes later, as Trevor Olson stole the puck from Eric Roy and raced in alone on Reichenbach. The forward patiently waited before cutting to the right of the net and lofting a shot past the goaltender for his ninth of the season at 18:56.
The Solar Bears tied the score at 3-3 late in the second period after Otto Somppi won a faceoff in the offensive zone to Thompson. From the wall, Thompson dished the puck back to the blue line for Frye, who spun away from Luke Nogard and fired a shot toward the net. After the puck initially struck the crossbar, Somppi buried the rebound at 19:30 for his second of the season with Orlando.
Kelly Klima put the Admirals ahead 4-3 at 6:49 of the third period when he cut around a defender and roofed a shot over the shoulder of Ouellette.
The Solar Bears then scored two goals in a 22-second span to take their first lead of the night, as Olson netted his second of the evening at 9:23 to tie the score at 4-4, and Jackson Playfair scored on a 3-on-1 at 9:45 to make it 5-4 in favor of the hosts with his second of the season.
Orlando's lead did not last for long, however, as Chris Crane capitalized on a turnover at 11:25 to level the field for Norfolk at 5-5.
Klima put the Admirals ahead again at 16:19, once again cutting around a defender before beating Ouellette with his second of the period.
The Solar Bears gambled late in regulation by pulling Ouellette for an extra skater. As Ouellette made his way to the bench and Somppi hopped onto the ice, Cody Donaghey tied the score with a slap shot from the right circle that rocketed into the upper-left corner of the net at 18:20 to even the score at 6-6 and force overtime.
Eric Roy secured the extra point for Norfolk in the extra frame as he received a pass from Alberga at the blue line and calmly skated through the slot before snapping the game-winner past Ouellette at 1:19.
Ouellette took the overtime loss with 26 saves on 33 shots against; Reichenbach turned aside 37 of 43 shots to get the win for Norfolk.
1) Eric Roy - NOR
2) Kelly Klima - NOR
3) Trevor Olson - ORL
The Solar Bears finished their regular season series with the Admirals with a 3-2-1-0 record.
The Solar Bears have earned points in six straight games on home ice dating back to Jan. 6 (5-0-1-0).
Kalk's goal now gives the forward a three-game goal streak (5g).
Olson's two goals extended his point streak to three games (3g-1a).
Frye's two assists extended his point streak to three games (1g-4a).
Playfair's goal extended his point streak to three games (2g-2a) since beginning his pro career.
Somppi finished the night with two points (1g-1a) and has recorded at least a point in each of his three games while being assigned to Orlando (2g-2a).
Thompson finished the night with three assists, giving him his second consecutive three-point game (1g-5a).
NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears battle the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the first game of Hockey Fights Cancer Weekend, presented by XYMOPrint. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for this game.
Fighting Four Packs presented by CenturyLink:
Gear up for the second half of the 2018-19 season with a Fighting Four Pack, presented by CenturyLink! Pick any four remaining home games and get $65 dollars in gift certificates to Dick's Sporting Goods, First Watch, QDOBA Mexican Eats and a FREE center ice ticket to the Saturday, Feb. 23 game against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, part of Hockey Fights Cancer Weekend, presented by XYMOPrint. Packs start as low as $69.99.
2018-19 Season Presented by XYMOPrint:
The Orlando Solar Bears are proud to have local digital printing experts XYMOPrint as the presenting sponsor of the 2018-19 season. As a special offer, fans who call XYMOPrint at (888) 223-9390 from now until June 15, 2019 and reference the Solar Bears will receive 30% off their first order of 500 business cards.
2018-19 Single-Game Tickets Now on Sale:
Single-game tickets for the Orlando Solar Bears 2018-19 regular season home schedule are now on sale. Fans can purchase single-game tickets for as little as $15 at the Amway Center box office, or online at Ticketmaster.com.
2018-19 Season Ticket Memberships:
Season Ticket Memberships for the seventh season of ECHL Orlando Solar Bears hockey are now on sale. Full and Half-Season memberships are both available, starting as low as $270. For more information, call (407) 951-8200 or visit orlandosolarbearshockey.com.
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