Written by Robert Molnar
ORLANDO, FL – Joshua Winquist scored two goals while also recording three assists to help lead the Orlando Solar Bears (13-14-4-1, 31 pts) to a 5-3 victory over the Florida Everblades (21-5-1-2, 45 pts) Friday night at the Amway Center. Despite the result, the ‘Blades continue to lead the Wawa Sunshine Cup series Six points to Three. The ‘Blades suffer their first road loss in regulation of the season, as Florida opened up the season on the road unbeaten in 13 games.
Orlando used an offensive zone faceoff to jump out to a 1-0 advantage in the first period. Joshua Winquist managed to chase down the puck and rip a quick shot towards the front of goal which bounced off the stick of J.J. Piccinich. The redirection did just enough to scoot the puck past the leg of Everblades goaltender Callum Booth.
Orlando doubled their lead with just over a minute remaining in the first period as Joshua Winquist made a nice move in front of the ‘Blades goal to give Orlando a 2-0 lead. Winquist picked up a pass from J.J. Piccinich before moving into the slot. All alone, Winquist deked to the backhand and flipped his shot just past the outstretched glove of Callum Booth.
Brett Bulmer got the ‘Blades on the board and made the score 2-1 at 4:39 of the second period. Tyler Ganly moved in and dropped a pass back to a waiting Bulmer in the slot. Flexing a quick shot, Bulmer whipped the puck past the glove of Orlando goaltender Mackenzie Skapski.
The Everblades’ power play unit used a four-on-three power play to full advantage to tie the game at 2-2. Michael Kirkpatrick picked up the puck at the left wing circle and rifled a shot through traffic. Kirkpatrick’s shot banged off the stick of Mitchell Heard and re-directed right past a screened Mackenzie Skapski.
The ‘Blades special teams continued their strong play, scoring on a two-on-one shorthanded chance to take a 3-2 advantage. Intercepting a pass, Michael Kirkpatrick raced into the attacking zone with Stephen MacAulay in tow. Flipping a perfect pass across the face of goal, Kirkpatrick’s pass was quickly hammered into the net.
However, the Everblades lead did not last long. Just under a minute-and-a-half later, the Solar Bears would convert on the very same power play attempt to tie the game at 3-3. Darryl Bootland ripped a shot that was initially stopped by Callum Booth. Unable to cover the rebound, the pin balling puck was eventually shoved home by Todd Skirving.
The Solar Bears managed to re-take the lead midway through the third period as they converted on a four-on-three power play opportunity. Sam Jardine sent a cross ice pass over to Max Novak at the left wing circle. Novak quickly wristed a shot past the blocker of Callum Booth and into the back of the net for the goal.
Orlando doubled their advantage once more, taking a 5-3 lead on a second chance opportunity. Forcing Michael Kirkpatrick off the puck, the Solar Bears moved quickly to create a two-on-one chance. While Callum Booth would make a great save to stop the initial shot from Mike Monfredo, he could do nothing to keep Joshua Winquist from burying his shot into the net.
Mackenzie Skapski played well in goal for Orlando and earns the win after stopping 30 of the 33 shots he faced. Callum Booth suffers the loss in goal for the Everblades, allowing five goals on 30 shots.
The Florida Everblades will now welcome the rival Orlando Solar Bears to Germain Arena Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets for the contest can be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
Upcoming Home Games
Saturday, December 30, vs. Orlando, 7:00 p.m. First 3,000 fans will receive an Everblades Calendar courtesy of Bokamper’s!
Wednesday, January 3, vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m. $2 Wednesday! $2 hot dogs, $2 beer and $2 wine all night long! College students receive a $5 ticket with valid college ID.
Purchase Single Game Tickets at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or online via Ticketmaster by CLICKING HERE
2017-18 Ticket Packages are Currently on Sale! Flexible partial plans are available. These packages will best fit your schedule and budget! To view pricing and benefits of all available ticket packages CLICK HERE Holiday Packs also still available!
SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new ticket package for the 2017-18 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford's Garage!
Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price! Group tickets are available for all home games. Fundraising opportunities are also available. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades offices at Germain Arena Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###