ORLANDO, Fla. – Down by five goals in the second period, the Orlando Solar Bears (14-15-4-1) scored three straight goals, but the comeback attempt ultimately fell short as the Norfolk Admirals (11-23-4-0) were bolstered by the play of new goaltender Michael McNiven on their way to a 6-3 victory over Orlando on Saturday night at Scope Arena.
Zach Phillips redirected a shot from Charlie O’Connor past Clint Windsor at 5:03 of the first period to give the home team the lead.
J.C. Campagna banged home a rebound past Windsor at 7:56 to extend the lead to two goals.
Artem Ivanyuzhenkov made it 3-0 for Norfolk at 13:43.
The Admirals continued to find the back of the net in the second period, as Josh Holmstrom scored at 1:16 and O’Connor tallied a goal at 3:48 to chase Windsor. The Solar Bears replaced their goaltender with Chase Perry.
Peter Abbandonato intercepted a Norfolk clearing attempt near the offensive blue line and fired a shot that snuck through McNiven at 6:29 for his first career ECHL goal.
Kevin Lohan broke up an Admirals power-play unit and fed Colby McAuley for a shorthanded breakaway goal at 14:02 that brought the Solar Bears to within three. The goal was McAuley’s third of the season.
Another Norfolk turnover in the slot allowed Johno May to skate through the hash marks and bury his 10th of the season past McNiven at 15:02.
The Admirals completed the scoring with a power-play goal from Johnny Coughlin at 4:39 of the third period.
Despite pulling Perry for an extra skater and Orlando receiving a power play with less than two minutes remaining, the Solar Bears were unable to close the gap.
Windsor took the loss with six saves on 11 shots against, while Perry went 12-for-13 in relief; McNiven made 30 stops on 33 shots against in his Admirals debut.
- Josh Holmstrom – NOR
- Michael McNiven – NOR
- Josh Holmstrom – NOR
- McAuley’s goal was Orlando’s ninth shorthanded tally of the season – the Solar Bears are tied with Worcester for the most shorthanded goals
- Abbandonato, May and McAuley now have two-game point streaks (1g-1a)
- Chris LeBlanc skated in his 152nd career game with the Solar Bears, tying him for second place on the franchise list with Mike Monfredo and Scott Tanski. His next game will give him sole possession of second place, and make him the longest-tenured forward in team history
The Solar Bears continue their six-game road trip when they face the Atlanta Gladiators at Infinite Energy Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7:05 p.m. The Solar Bears return home to face the Jacksonville Icemen on Thursday, Jan. 23 for a Thirsty Thursday, presented by Coors Light – fans can take advantage of $5 domestic draft beers during the game. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for this game.
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Order New Jerseys:
The Orlando Solar Bears will wear new jerseys for the 2019-20 season. Replica jerseys are available for purchase online, with adult sizes available for $149.95 and youth sizes available for $109.95. Fans can visit bit.ly/OSBJerseys to place their order today.
2019-20 Season Ticket Memberships on Sale Now:
Upgrade to Solar Status and become a Season Ticket Member today. Season ticket memberships for the 2019-20 season are now on sale and start as little as $270 – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
2019-20 Season Presented by XYMOPrint:
The 2019-20 Orlando Solar Bears season is presented by XYMOPrint, Orlando’s digital printing experts. As a special offer, fans who call XYMOPrint at (888) 223-9390 from now until June 15, 2021 and reference the Solar Bears will receive 15% off their first order and a free Orlando Solar Bears poster!
About the Orlando Solar Bears:
The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and members of the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America. In seven seasons of operation, the team has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs five times. The Solar Bears are owned and operated by the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family, and play at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.
Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.