Orlando, FL – The Florida Everblades couldn’t overcome numerous bad bounces or an Eric Baier shorthanded goal Thursday, falling 2-1 to the Orlando Solar Bears at the Amway Center.
Orlando scored the only goal of the first on a 2-on-2 rush as Blades defender Mike Little was screened off by Bryce Aneloski in transition, freeing Aneloski to collect a centering pass from Andrew Johnston and beat Blades goalie Kristers Gudlevskis with a low backhander with 9:15 left in the opening frame.
Misfortune struck the Everblades as they sought an equalizer, as wide-open backdoor chances for both Kyle Bonis and Rocco Carzo hopped over the forwards’ sticks at the last moment, sparing Orlando netminder Garret Sparks through most of the middle frame.
It would take until there were 52 seconds left in the second for Florida to equalize, but the goal that tied the game at one came off the stick of captain Mathieu Roy, who redirected a point shot from Jordan Henry on a 5-on-3 power play.
More bad luck beset the Blades early in the third as shot block at the tail end of another 5-on-3 power play bounced right Baier, who raced in on a shorthanded breakway, scoring with a chip shot over Gudlevskis’ glove to push Orlando back ahead at 2-1.
Roy had an opportunity late to tie it back up, dekeing Sparks to the ground, but Orlando winger Ian Slater streaked in out of nowhere for a point-blank shot block to preserve the 2-1 lead.
Though Florida head coach Greg Poss pulled Gudlevskis for the extra attacker in the final minute, the Blades could get no up-ice traction and their short two-game win streak came to an end in Central Florida.
Gudlevskis suffered his second regulation defeat on 17 saves; Sparks collected his first win of the season with 30 stops.
The scene now shifts to Southwest Florida as the Blades continue their three-game series with the Solar Bears Friday with a 7:30pm tilt against their in-state rivals at Germain Arena.
Tickets are now on sale at the Capital Bank Box Office at Germain Arena, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturdays 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Friday’s intrastate rumble will be broadcast locally on 98.1 FM The Island and worldwide online on America ONE, the official broadband and mobile broadcaster of the ECHL, at www.americaonesports.com. Pregame coverage will get under way at 7:15pm.
2013-14 Season Ticket Package Information
Ticket packages for the 2013-14 season are currently on sale—and going fast! Full season packages begin at $380, while 10 and 20 game packages start as low as $160. Sign-up for a new season ticket package today, and receive a $20 gift card per seat to Outback Steakhouse!
For more information call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades main office located at Germain Arena.
Office hours are Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.