ESTERO, Fla. — Trevor Olson tallied the go-ahead goal with 16.6 seconds left in regulation to send the Orlando Solar Bears past the Florida Everblades, 5-4, in a preseason game on Friday at Hertz Arena.
Adam Gilmour and Patrick McCarron both netted multi-point games for the ‘Blades (0-1-0), but the Solar Bears (2-0-0) scored late in the third period to stave off the Florida rally.
Down 4-3 at the start of the third period, Florida responded to tie the game with less than 10 minutes to play on its second shorthanded goal of the game. With the Everblades on the penalty kill, Mathieu Foget received a stretch pass from Patrick McCarron and lifted a backhand shot above the blocker of Orlando goaltender Corbin Boes on the ensuing breakaway to make it 4-4.
But the Solar Bears found the back of the net with less than 20 seconds to play, as Olson jammed a loose puck past the right pad of ‘Blades goaltender Jamie Phillips.
After Orlando took the first lead of the game in the first period, the Everblades scored three straight times to take a 3-1 lead. Florida tied it on a 5-on-3 power play with Tommy Thompson’s first goal in a ‘Blades sweater. After Patrick McCarron ripped a shot from the slot, Thompson located the rebound and batted it out of midair past Boes with 6:37 to play in the first.
The Everblades grabbed their first lead of the night with Gilmour’s first goal of the preseason, a play set up by Zach Nastasiuk. Nastasiuk skated the puck off the far goal line to the left circle and located Gilmour in the right circle. Gilmour unleashed the shot immediately to make it 2-1 just 32 seconds into the second frame.
Joe Cox doubled the lead to two, pouncing on a turnover by Orlando goaltender Corbin Boes and tucking the puck into the back of a vacated net at the 4:03 mark of period two, the first shorthanded tally of the night.
Orlando scored four of the final five goals in the game to secure the victory, including three in the second period. Dylan Fitze and Cody Donaghey tallied 23 seconds apart to tie the game at three and then pushed ahead on Vincent Dunn’s score with 7:39 left in the middle stanza.
Florida has a chance to close the preseason with a victory on Saturday night, hosting Orlando in the preseason finale at 7 p.m. at Hertz Arena. Single-game tickets start as low as $10.
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