ESTERO, FL – The Orlando Solar Bears scored two power play goals in the third period to rally past the Everblades 3-2 in the preseason opener at Germain Arena Friday night.
Florida struck first at 15:35 of the opening frame on a nifty goal by Kevin Lynch. Lynch broke into the zone on the left wing side and with a deke move, he worked the puck around the defenseman and broke toward the Orlando net. Lynch then flipped a backhand from a tough angle, and roofed it top shelf over the near shoulder of Solar Bears netminder Kent Patterson for the goal.
Halfway through the second period the Everblades added to their 1-0 lead on goal by Danick Gauthier. Alex Lavoie delivered a pass from the corner to the slot to Gauthier. Gauthier sniped the puck into far corner of the net high on the blocker side to give the ‘Blades a 2-0 advantage.
Nearly two minutes later Orlando got on the board after a Justin Sefton shot from the point beat ‘Blades goaltender Andrew Flemming to pull the Solar Bear within one after 40 minutes played.
Orlando tied the game on the power play just five minutes into third, after Stephen Shultz one-timed a shot past the blocker of Flemming to tied the game at two.
The ‘Blades got into penalty trouble in the third, and the Solar Bears seized the lead on a 5-on-3 power play. Mike Ulrich slid a pass across the crease to Greg Miller who stuff the puck into the net for the go ahead marker at 16:32. The goal stood as the eventual game winner as Orlando takes the preseason opener 3-2.
Both goaltenders were impressive in the game as Patterson earns the win stopped 30 of 32 shots, while Flemming takes the loss allowing three goals on 36 shots faced.
The two teams meet again on Saturday at Germain Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: The Everblades added defenseman Mike Cornell and forward Danick Gauthier prior to Friday’s game. Gauthier was reassigned to the ‘Blades from Syracuse (AHL).