ORLANDO, FL – Garret Sparks made 48 saves to lift the Orlando Solar Bears to a 5-2 victory over the Florida Everblades in Game 3 of the East Division Semifinals at the Amway Center Tuesday evening. Florida now leads the series 2-1.
Both teams skated to a physical first period of play, but it was the Solar Bears that grabbed the game’s first tally.
Former Everblade Johnny McInnis streaked into the zone on the right wing side and managed to gain a step on the Florida defense. McInnis cut to the net a delivered a shot at point blank range that was initially stopped off the right pad of goaltender Allen York. The rebound bounced back to McInnis at the top of the crease and he hit the puck into the net past an outstretched York for the goal.
McInnis struck again at 3:38 of the second period when he converted on a breakaway chance. McInnis skated down the middle of the slot, deked to the backhand and flipped a shot high into the net past York for his second tally of the game to improve the Orlando lead to 2-0.
Just 49 seconds later, Orlando’s Ben Johnson blasted a slapshot from the top of the left wing circle that clipped past York low on the ice to extend the Solar Bears lead to 3-0.
Following the goal, Florida called a timeout to regroup, and it paid off. The Everblades rattled off 11 consecutive shots on goal in the game and finally lit the lamp on a goal by Casey Pierro-Zabotel at 7:34 of the middle frame.
Three minutes later, the Everblades made it a one-goal game, when Mike Cornell forced a turnover along the boards and skated the puck to the left wing circle. Cornell hurled a shot that beat Orlando goaltender Garrett Sparks for the tally.
The ‘Blades went on to outshoot Orlando 24-7 in the second period, but Sparks refused to let Florida tie the game, and Orlando took the 3-2 edge into the second intermission.
The Solar Bears reclaimed some momentum just 51 seconds into the third when Eric Baier danced through the slot and threw a wrist shot that sailed into the net to put the score at 4-2.
Florida racked up 20 more shots on net in the third period, but Sparks turned them all aside to preserve the game for his team. Brady Vail added an empty net goal late to seal the 5-2 victory.
Sparks impressively earned the win stopping 48 of 50 shots faced, while York takes the loss allowing four goals on 18 shots in the contest.
The two teams will meet again for Game 4 on Thursday at the Amway Center. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
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2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs - First Round, Florida Everblades vs. Orlando Solar Bears
(Florida Leads 2-1) Game 1 : Friday, April 17, Orlando - 2 at Florida - 3 Game 2: Saturday, April 18, Orlando - 1 at Florida - 5 Game 3: Tuesday, April 21, Florida - 2 at Orlando - 5Game 4: Thursday, April 23, Florida at Orlando, Amway Center, 7:00 p.m.Game 5: Saturday, April 25, Florida at Orlando, Amway Center, 7:00 p.m.m. **
Ticket InformationEverblades tickets may be purchased at the Century Link Prism Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.ticketmaster.com
Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price, and also receive an Everblades souvenir! Group tickets are available for all home games. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.
For more information call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades Main Office located at Germain Arena, Monday—Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Bus Trip to Orlando for Game 4 on Thursday, April 23!Cost is $60 which includes game ticket and round-trip transportation to Orlando! Bus will depart from Germain Arena approximately 2:00 p.m. on day of game (April 23) To reserve your spot, or for more information please call 239-948-7825.