Orlando, FL – The Florida Everblades dominated the first 36 minutes of regulation but couldn’t hold off a big push by the Orlando Solar Bears, who scored four of the game’s last five goals to tip the Blades 4-3 Monday at the Amway Center.
Florida got out of the gates first for the second straight game, getting a transition tally from Brandon MacLean with 7:58 to go in the first to snare a 1-0 lead on the road.
MacLean doubled the lead to 2-0 3:32 into the second, redirecting a point shot from Olivier Dame-Malka under the crossbar past Solar Bears goalie John Curry.
Orlando started to rally late in the second, however, as Mike Ullrich deflected a long shot by Zachary Yuen over the left shoulder of Blades netminder Trevor Cann and in, putting the Bears on the board at 2-1.
Less than two minutes later, Solar Bears winger Scott Tanski got behind the Florida defense on an entry from newly acquired Mickey Lang and beat Cann with a low backhander to tie the game 2-2 heading into the second intermission.
Blades captain Mathieu Roy pushed the Blades back in front at 3-2 just 64 seconds into the third, burying a MacLean rebound on the power play.
Zach Harrison drew Orlando even 6:29 later, drawing a Joe Caveney penalty and scoring on the ensuing power play knot the game at three.
Harrison would follow up with 9:12 remaining in regulation, taking a pass from Lang at the top of Cann’s crease and swatting home his own rebound after Cann denied his first effort, giving the Solar Bears their first lead at 4-3.
After Harrison’s go-ahead marker, Orlando went on the defensive, allowing the Blades just five shots in the last nine-plus minutes to steal the 4-3 victory at home.
Cann made 28 stops but slipped to 6-5-0-0 on the season; Curry picked up his third straight win over the Blades on 29 saves.
With the loss, the Blades finish the 2013 portion of their schedule ten games over .500 at 19-9-1-1 and 40 points, four behind South Carolina for the top spot in the South Division (and the ECHL overall).
The Blades will open up 2014 on the road as they travel to Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday to take on the red-hot Greenville Road Warriors, who swept a pair of games last weekend from the Blades at Germain Arena, at 7:00pm.
Friday’s New Year lid-lifter will be broadcast live online at FloridaEverblades.com and on the Everblades’ app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, with a video webcast available through America ONE, the official broadband and mobile broadcaster of the ECHL, at www.americaonesports.com. Pregame coverage will get under way at 6:45pm.
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Don’t want to pay the box office rate for Everblades tickets? You don’t have to! Save up to $7.00 per ticket with great 10 and 20-game flex plans and group rates for the remainder of the 2013-14 campaign. Lock in your flex plan or group seats now for the Blades’ next home game on January 10.
For more information call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades main office located at Germain Arena.
Office hours are Monday – Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm.The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.