Solar Bears Thump Admirals 5-1 in Return Home
ORLANDO, Fla. - Tristin Langan recorded a career-high four points and Alexander Kuqali tied a club record with two shorthanded goals as the Orlando Solar Bears (25-24-5-1) returned home to continue their winning ways and picked up a 5-1 victory over the Norfolk Admirals (13-34-6-0) on Sunday afternoon at the Jewett Orthopaedic Rink at Amway Center. The win gave Orlando a season-high fourth consecutive victory on home ice, and moved the Solar Bears ahead of Greenville into third place in the South Division standings.
Langan scored just 49 seconds into the game when he stole the puck in the neutral zone and snapped his 14th of the season past Sean Romeo at the left circle to give Orlando a 1-0 lead.
Johno May jammed a loose puck past Romeo at 10:27 for his 16th of the season to extend the lead to 2-0.
Kuqali got his second and third goals of the season at 1:31 and 7:01 of the second period to push the lead to four goals, matching Ryan Reaves (Dec. 28, 2012 vs. Florida) for the most shorthanded goals in a single game. It was also Kuqali's first career multi-goal game. Langan and Trevor Olson assisted on both goals.
Langan then set up Eric Drapluk for his first goal with the Solar Bears at 16:49, coming on the man advantage.
J.C. Campagna spoiled Clint Windsor's shutout bid at 11:08 of the third period to get Norfolk on the board.
Windsor earned his 13th victory of the season with 36 saves on 37 shots against; Romeo went 37-for-42 in the loss for Norfolk.
1) Alexander Kuqali - ORL
2) Clint Windsor - ORL
3) Eric Drapluk - ORL
Orlando improved to 4-3-0-0 against Norfolk this season with the win; the teams meet one final time on March 18 at the Norfolk Scope
Langan leads Orlando with nine multi-point games; he's recorded four points once, three points twice and two points six times; Langan also led the Solar Bears with seven shots on goal
The Solar Bears recorded 24 shots on goal in the first period to match their previous season-high of shots in a single period (Feb. 15 vs. Norfolk; third period)
Kuqali's goals extends Orlando's shorthanded goal totals to 14, the most in the ECHL this season; the club single-season mark for shorthanded goals is 15
Michael Brodzinski skated in his 120th career game with Orlando, passing Johnny McInnis for sole possession of eighth on the club games played list; Cody Donaghey skated in his 118th career game with the Solar Bears to pass Bryce Aneloski for sole possession of 10th on Orlando's games played list
NEXT GAMES: The Solar Bears head out on the road to face the Atlanta Gladiators at Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7:35 p.m. The Solar Bears return home to host the Newfoundland Growlers on Saturday, Feb. 29 for Hockey Fights Cancer Night, presented by XYMOPrint. Prior to the game, the Solar Bears will also host their inaugural Food Festival.
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