Thompson Provides Second Consecutive Game-Winner for Solar Bears
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Tayler Thompson scored the game-winning goal for the second consecutive game to lift the Orlando Solar Bears (22-17-3-0) to a 4-2 win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (14-28-3-2) on Friday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Mathieu Foget opened the scoring for Orlando with a power-play goal at the 4:32 mark of the first period, when a shot from Colby McAuley glanced off of Trevor Olson to the side of the net. Foget was positioned in an open patch of ice and swept the loose puck past Chris Nell for his 13th goal of the season.
Alex Schoenborn made it 2-0 at 7:30 with his fourth of the season when he redirected Alexander Kuqali's shot from the left point into the net.
The Swamp Rabbits halved the visitors' lead late in the second period on a delayed penalty against Orlando after Mike Robinson had leveled Greenville's Chad Duschene in the offensive zone. On the ensuing counter-attack, Kamerin Nault buried the second rebound attempt past Martin Ouellette at 19:37 to get the Swamp Rabbits on the board.
Nault then tied the score when he tipped a shot from Johno May past Ouellette at 11:46 of the third period.
Following an apparent collision between Schoenborn and Nell, Greenville's Dan Milan retaliated with a cross-check to the back of Schoenborn's head. While Schoenborn received a two-minute penalty for charging the goaltender in the crease, Milan was subsequently assessed a five-minute cross-checking major and a game misconduct at the 13:40 mark, which led to an eventual power play for Orlando.
Following a faceoff win in the defensive zone, the Solar Bears worked the puck up the ice to create a 2-on-1 that led to Chris LeBlanc feeding Thompson, who slipped the puck past Nell at the 18:40 mark for his third of the season.
Mike Monfredo then sealed the game with an empty-net goal at 19:45 for his fifth tally of the season.
Ouellette picked up the victory with 39 saves on 41 shots against; Nell took the loss with 24 stops on 27 shots against.
1) Tayler Thompson - ORL
2) Kamerin Nault - GRN
3) Jonne Tammela - ORL
Orlando has improved to 2-0-1-0 against the Swamp Rabbits this season at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
McAuley finished the night with three assists, extending his point streak to six games (3g-6a).
Tammela's assist on Schoenborn's goal extended his point streak to four games (3g-5a).
Thompson now has a two-game goal-scoring streak (2g), and his goal served as his 100th career pro point (32g-68a) in 169 career games between the ECHL, Southern Professional Hockey League and France's Ligue Magnus.
Ouellette's 39 saves matched the club season-high for saves by a goaltender, originally set by Corbin Boes on Dec. 22 at Florida (6-5 OT loss).
Thompson also fought with Greenville's Jake Bolton at 6:12 of the third period.
NEXT GAMES: The Solar Bears conclude their season-high nine-game road trip when they take on the Atlanta Gladiators on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:35 p.m. at Infinite Energy Arena. The Solar Bears return home to host the Jacksonville Icemen on Wednesday, Feb. 6 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 the game.
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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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