ORLANDO, FL – Dan Gendur scored four goals to lead the Orlando Solar Bears to an 8-4 victory over the Florida Everblades at the Amway Center Friday night.
After a scoreless first period the previous night, it took nearly a minute for the game’s first goal to be scored. Orlando forward Dan Gendur snuck a shot past Everblades goaltender Pat Nagle to give Orlando the early 1-0 lead just 1:03 into the game.
As fate would have it, Florida responded 1:03 later, as David Rutherford hurled a backhand shot past Orlando goaltender Hannu Toivonen to tie the game at 1-1.
Orlando reclaimed the lead with a shorthanded goal by Ryan Reaves. Reaves broke into the zone on a 2-on-1 rush and wristed a shot past Nagle to put the Solar Bears back on top by one. Gendur added a second goal with 43 seconds remaining in the period to give Orlando the 3-1 lead at the first intermission.
The Solar Bears picked up right where they left off in the second as C.J. Severyn called his own number on a 2-on-1 rush, beating Nagle on a wrist shot. The goal spelled the end for Nagle on the night, who allowed four goals on 16 shots.
Florida attempted to get back in it, as Rutherford scored his second goal of the night. After a Toivonen save, the puck rolled around in the crease. Rutherford shoved the puck across the goaline to pull the ‘Blades within two. However, Orlando didn’t back down, and received a goal by Scott Tanski nearly three minutes to take a 5-2 advantage.
The Solar Bears continued their assault at 10:52 of the second period, when Gendur fired a shot off the glove of Everblades goaltender John Muse who entered the game in relief of Nagle. The puck skipped off Muse’s glove, and slid into the net for the marker. The goal completed the hat-trick for Gendur.
Exactly one minute later, Gendur scored his fourth goal of the game on the power play, beating Muse on a wrist shot from the slot to extend the Orlando lead to 7-2 after 40 minutes played.
Five minutes into the third, Reaves scored his second shorthanded goal of the night to put the score at 8-2. Orlando finished the night with a total of three shorthanded goals.
David Rutherford provided a ray of light for Florida in the game. Rutherford sailed a shot from the blue-line which beat Toivonen low on the blocker side. The goal sealed the hat-trick for Rutherford who pulled the ‘Blades within five. Rutherford’s last hat trick took place last season on November 25, 2011 in a game at Kalamazoo.
Florida’s Leigh Salters added a fourth Everblades goal late, but it would not be enough as Orlando went on to win by an 8-4 score.
Florida will have a week off, and then get set for a January 4 meeting at Greenville. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. Florida returns home to battle the Toledo Walleye on January 9, 11, 12, at Germain Arena. Fans itching for hockey, can check out the 2012 College Hockey Classic at Germain Arena. Consolation game begins at 4:05 p.m., with the Championship game at 7:35 p.m. This year’s schools include Maine, Cornell, Ferris State, and Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth,
Ticket Information: The Capital Bank Box Office is open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fans may also call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or order online at www.ticketmaster.com
Partial-season packages are still available, and start as low as $150 and offer a flexible option for fans. These packages make for great holiday gifts for the hockey fan in your life! For more information on all available packages, call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825.