Orlando Welcomes Reading for Two Games Next Week

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Orlando, FL -  The Solar Bears scored once on the power play and once shorthanded in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and collect the eventual 4-2 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators in front of 7,448 fans at the Amway Center on Friday night.

For the second straight game, the Gladiators jumped out to a 1-0 lead before the Mathew Sisca halfway point of the first period. F Evan Bloodoff led a 3-on-2 into the attacking zone, cut to the slot, and lifted a wrister into the top right corner to put Gwinnett on the board 6:03 into the game. It turned out to be the lone goal scored in the opening 20 minutes, as the Gladiators took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Orlando knotted up the contest early in the second frame. C Ryan Cruthers had an initial pass blocked in the slot, but it came right back to him and he found C Mathew Sisca open on the right wing. Sisca one-timed the pass into the back of the net at 4:53 to tie the game at 1-1. D Michael Wilson then granted the Solar Bears their first lead of the night when he finished off a 3-on-2 rush with a wrist shot into the bottom corner of the net with 7:47 to play in the second stanza. Gwinnett struck back back before the end of the frame, as F Casey Pierro-Zabotel converted on a power play goal from the right circle with 52 seconds to play, tying the game at 2-2 going into the third period.

Special teams proved to be the answer for Orlando in the final stanza. Sisca snapped the 2-2 score when he fired a slap shot from the top of the slot at 7:15 of the frame for his second goal of the game, this one coming on the power play. The Solar Bears gave themselves some breathing room late in regulation when Wilson tapped a puck off the glass to spring Cruthers on a shorthanded rush. The Solar Bears captain took the puck up the right wing and fired a wrist shot just inside the right goal post for his 20th goal of the season with 2:32 remaing to seal the 4-2 victory for the Solar Bears.

Three Stars: 1. M. Sisca (ORL); 2. M. Wilson (ORL); 3. R. Cruthers(ORL)
Power Plays: ORL: 1/3; GWT: 1/5
Shots: ORL: 28; GWT: 28

The Solar Bears completed a stretch of six games in eight days tonight... C Ryan Cruthers scored his 20th goal of the season with a shorthanded marker in the third period, becoming the first Solar Bear to hit that plateau... Tonight's game marked just the second time in nine meetings that a contest between Orlando and Gwinnett was decided by more than one goal... The Solar Bears improved to 7-1-0-0 when over 7,000 fans are in attendance at the Amway Center... The Solar Bears wore special "Old Time Hockey" themed jerseys tonight.

Upcoming Promotions:

Feb. 28:
March 2:

March 20:
March 24:
Star Wars Night
BE GREAT! Classic for Kids to benefit Boys and Girls Clubs
of Central Florida featuring NHL Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier
Scout Night
St. Patrick's Day Special Jersey
Fan Appreciation Game

For more information call the Solar Bears Executive Offices at 407-951-8200.

Get Tickets:
Orlando continues their eight-game homestand with two games against the Reading Royals on Thursday, February 28, and Saturday, March 2, both games at 7:00 p.m. Good seats are still available. Visit

The Orlando Solar Bears, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild and AHL's Houston Aeros, play all of their home games at the 2012 Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year, the Amway Center.

Individual tickets for all regular season home games are on sale beginning as low as $15. To purchase your tickets, please visit or the Amway Center Box Office.

Follow the Solar Bears at, Facebook, and Twitter (@OrlandoHockey) for all the latest news and updates.

Don't get shut-out when we sell out! Take advantage of the Orlando Solar Bears season ticket pre-sale offer by placing a $50 deposit per ticket now to receive seat selection priority for the 2013-14 season. Call the Solar Bears at 407-951-8200 or visit

Group tickets are a great way to entertain employees, co-workers, clients, friends and family. For more information on discounted group tickets and a list of group benefits, call 407-951-8200 or click here.

Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at: