Solar Bears Rally to Earn Point in 3-2 OT Loss to Gladiators
ORLANDO, Fla. - Tayler Thompson scored his first of the season to ignite the Teddy Bear Toss and a comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the second period, but the Orlando Solar Bears (8-9-4-1) ultimately fell in overtime to the Atlanta Gladiators (10-10-0-0) by a 3-2 score on Saturday night at the Jewett Orthopaedic Rink at Amway Center. The Solar Bears concluded the week with a 3-0-1-0 record, its best four-game stretch on home ice this season, and remain ahead of the Gladiators for fourth place in the South Division.
Tommy Marchin opened the scoring when he redirected a shot from the blue line by Zach Malatesta past Zachary Fucale at 6:41 of the first period to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Atlanta extended its advantage to two goals when Eric Neiley tipped a shot from Logan Nelson in the slot past Fucale at 15:02.
Thompson started the rally for the Solar Bears in the second with an unassisted shorthanded goal, as the forward stole the puck from Joel Messner at the Orlando blue line and sped up the ice before faking out Sean Bonar and sliding the puck past the goaltender at 7:26, sending a flurry of teddy bears and other stuffed animals to the ice, and cutting the deficit in half.
Tristin Langan evened the score less than two minutes later when he roofed a rebound from Alexey Lipanov past Bonar at 9:19 for his fifth of the season.
For the third time this week, Orlando would play beyond regulation as the score remained time at the conclusion of the third period.
Neiley won it for the Gladiators when he one-timed a pass from Scott Conway past the blocker of Fucale 4:24 into the extra frame.
Fucale took the overtime loss with 31 saves on 34 shots against; Bonar earned the victory with 36 saves on 38 shots against.
1) Eric Neiley - ATL
2) Tayler Thompson - ORL
3) Tommy Marchin - ATL
Fucale finished the week with a 2-0-1 record, a 2.82 goals-against average and a save percentage of .906; his season-long save percentage of .930 ranks fourth in the ECHL
Langan's goal extended his point streak to four games (2g-2a), the longest point streak by a Solar Bears player this season
Langan also tied with Blake Kessel (2g-2a), Michael Brodzinski (0g-4a), Colby McAuley (1g-3a) and Jake Coughler (2g-2a) for the team scoring lead this week
Cody Donaghey led Orlando with six shots on goal
The Solar Bears hit the road for their next four games, starting Tuesday, Dec. 10 when they visit to the South Carolina Stingrays at the North Charleston Coliseum at 7:05 p.m. The Solar Bears return home to face the Kansas City Mavericks for the first time since the 2016-17 season on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. for a Wine Down Wednesday; fans can take advantage of $5 wine specials during the game. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for this game.
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ECHL Stories from December 7, 2019
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