Written by Keaton Hanley / Photo courtesy of Kevin Bires
ESTERO, FL – Orlando’s Cal Heeter made 30 saves to lift the Solar Bears to 3-1 victory over the Florida Everblades on Friday night at Germain Arena.
The Blades were all over the Solar Bears in their end early coming up with two high danger scoring chances as one pinged off the post. As the Blades continued to work in the Solar Bears end, Matt Finn went to make a move around a Solar Bear player at the blue line before catching contact on his knee; Finn didn’t take kindly to the move and a scrum ensued with multiple players from each team jumping in on the dog pile along the boards. Finn received the extra penalty and sent Orlando to an early power play.
The Solar Bears found the back of the net just 11 seconds into that power play opportunity. Max Novak shot the puck from the top of the right circle before it rebounded perfectly into the slot for a quick wrist shot from Kristian Pospisil that beat an out stretched Callum Booth to take the lead early just 1:42 into the contest.
After leaving for repairs Finn came back looking for retribution as he roughed up Martins Dzierkals as the two were trailing behind in the Blades end. Finn would find himself the only guilty party, receiving another two-minute penalty for roughing along with a misconduct penalty.
Matt Berry served the penalty for Finn, and Berry used the penalty box to his advantage as he caught a pass soon after getting out and set up a play in the Solar Bears end. A scramble in front of Cal Heeter occurred following a John McCarron shot that was stopped by Heeter. However, Justin Kea was able to scooped up the rebound and put it into the back of the net to tie the game 1-1 late in the first period.
The ‘Blades carried a 5-on-3 advantange into the second period, but the Solar Bears were able to kill off the penalties and score a goal of their own shortly thereafter. Mike Monfredo netted the goal for the Solar Bears just seconds after being released from the penalty box as he cleaned up his own rebound to give the Solar Bears back the lead 2-1.
The third period was much of the same for the Blades, as they were able to generate zone time, but the Solar Bears were able to pinch them off defensively.
Florida found itself down a man late as Justin Kea headed to the box with 2:25 left in the game for roughing. Although shorthanded, the Everblades were able to pull Callum Booth off for the extra attacker. Following a Solar Bears clear, the Blades juggled the puck in the neutral zone. However, the puck flipped to Joshua Winquist who was able to grab an empty netter and close out the game for the Solar Bears by a 3-1 score.
Cal Heeter (14-13-3-1) stole the win for the Solar Bears with a stellar performance stopping all but one of the 31 shots fired his way. Callum Booth played well, but takes the loss allowing two goals on two goals on 26 shots faced.
The Everblades return to action on Saturday when the play host to the Jacksonville Icemen at 7:00 p.m. Fans can catch the game broadcast on 99.3 ESPN Radio, or by listening online by CLICKING HERE. Promotional details for Saturday’s game is provided below.
Upcoming Home GamesSaturday, February 24, vs. Jacksonville, 7:00 p.m. Canadian Night presented by TD Bank. Fans can enjoy Labatt Blue and poutine specials throughout the game! Tailgate party from 5-7 p.m. featuring live music and bounce houses for the kids.
Wednesday, February 28, vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m. $2 Wednesday! Fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs, $2 draft beers and $2 wines all night long in the concourse! College students receive a $5 tickets 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
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###