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ORLANDO DROPS 4-3 DECISION TO GWINNETT

The Solar Bears Continue Home Stand on Saturday and Sunday

 

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Orlando, FL - The Solar Bears picked up a late third period goal to get back to within one, but it wasn't enough as Orlando dropped a 4-3 decision to the Gwinnett Gladiators at the Amway Center on Thursday night.

Gwinnett got off to a strong start in the first period, scoring twice in a 35 second Kevin Baker span. At 5:53, F Evan Bloodoff used a burst of speed through the neutral zone to get a clean chance against G John Curry, and buried the opportunity to lift Gwinnett to a 1-0 lead. Then, at 6:28, a shot by D Justin Weller found the back of the net while Curry was down. Orlando answered just 26 seconds afterwards, as F Scott Tanski found F Ryan Ginand on the left side of the net. Ginand slammed home the pass from Tanski to collect the shorthanded goal. Before the end of the period, however, Gwinnett took advantage of a four-minute power play chance, with F Casey Pierro-Zabotel deflecting a shot from F Doug Jones as the Gladiators led 3-1 after one.

Orlando cut the score to 3-2 early in the second period. RW Kevin Baker powered the puck into the attacking end, drilled a shot off the post, and F Olivier Fortier finished the play by tapping the puck into the net 3:40 into the period. Gwinnett answered at 8:14, when Pierro-Zabotel slid out of the left corner and tucked home a backhand shot to restore Gwinnett's two goal lead going into the third period.

Late in the third period, Orlando brought themselves back to within one with 2:12 to play in the game. D Michael Wilson dumped the puck around the boards and Ginand deflected a shot from F Olivier Fortier for his second goal of the night. It would prove to be the only goal scored in the final stanza, as Gwinnett held on for a 4-3 win.

Three Stars: 1. M. Lee (GWT); 2. C. Pierro-Zabotel (GWT); 3. R. Ginand (ORL)

Power Plays: ORL: 0/5; GWT: 1/7     

Shots: ORL: 36; GWT: 33    

 

Notes:

Tonight's game marked the first regulation loss for the Solar Bears at home. They are now 2-1-1-1 on home ice... Orlando has outshot their opponents in eight straight games... The Solar Bears have killed off 31 of their last 34 penalties.

The Orlando Solar Bears, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild and AHL's Houston Aeros, are in their Out of Hibernation and 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 now on sale beginning as low as $15. To purchase your tickets, please visit www.OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com or the Amway Center Box Office.

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

Season ticket plans are available now. Full and half season ticket plans range in price from $225-$1480 per season ticket (includes facility fee), reflecting a savings of up to 42% off box office pricing. Call the Solar Bears at 407-951-8200 to speak to a Ticket Sales Account Manager.

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.

Orlando Solar Bears merchandise can be purchased online at: http://shop.orlandosolarbearshockey.com/