Windsor Leads Solar Bears to 3-1 Win over Gladiators
ORLANDO, Fla. - Clint Windsor turned in a career-high performance with 43 saves and Chris LeBlanc scored the game-winner to lead the Orlando Solar Bears (8-9-3-1) to a 3-1 win over the Atlanta Gladiators (9-10-0-0) and their third consecutive win overall on Friday night at the Jewett Orthopaedic Rink at Amway Center.
The Solar Bears appeared to have scored first when Ryan Lohin batted the puck past Martin Ouellette during a goalmouth scramble at 7:15, but the potential goal was waved off.
Atlanta then opened the scoring when Logan Nelson stole the puck from Windsor as the goaltender was attempting to make a play at the side of the net, and Nelson fed Dante Hannoun in the slot for a tap-in goal at 7:27.
Orlando got the equalizer less than 20 seconds later when Cody Donaghey launched a pass from the defensive zone into Gladiators territory, where Colby McAuley was able to race the puck down and snap a shot past Ouellette at 7:44 for his second goal of the season.
LeBlanc scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season at 1:54 of the second period to give Orlando its first lead of the night when he deflected Michael Brodzinski's wrist shot past Ouellette.
Windsor kept the Solar Bears ahead through the remainder of the frame with several impressive stops on the Gladiators, who outshot Orlando 23-16 in the second period, including a sensational goal-line toe save on Chris Forney with under three minutes left in the second. Windsor's 23 saves in the third period represented a new season-high for saves by a goaltender, passing the Zachary Fucale's 20 stops in the first period vs. South Carolina on Nov. 3.
Jimmy Lodge capped the scoring for the Solar Bears with a power-play goal for his first of the season 59 seconds into the third period when he flipped the puck past Ouellette during a battle for the puck at the top of the crease.
Windsor earned his second win of the season with 43 stops on 44 shots against; Ouellette took the loss with 32 saves on 35 shots against.
1) Clint Windsor - ORL
2) Michael Brodzinski - ORL
3) Jimmy Lodge - ORL
The victory moves Orlando past Atlanta into fourth place in the South Division
Windsor's 43 saves set a new career-high for the goaltender, passing his previous career-best of 39, set on Nov. 8 at Florida; Windsor's effort improves his save percentage to .940, good for second overall in the league behind South Carolina's Parker Milner (.945) and first among all rookie netminders
LeBlanc's goal gives the forward a three-game point streak (1g-2a)
Tristin Langan assisted on Lodge's goal, giving the rookie forward a three-game point streak (1g-2a)
McAuley's goal gives him a three-game point streak (1g-3a)
Brodzinski finished the night with two assists, giving him four helpers over his last three games
Lodge led Orlando with six shots on goal
The Solar Bears face the Gladiators again on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. Saturday's game is also our annual Teddy Bear Toss game - fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used teddy bears or stuffed animals to be thrown onto the ice when the Solar Bears score their first goal of the game.
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