ESTERO, Fla. — Blake Winiecki scored with 48 seconds left in overtime to lift the Florida Everblades to a 2-1 win and series sweep of the Orlando Solar Bears on Friday night at Hertz Arena.
Michael Huntebrinker scored to tie the game for Florida (7-3-0-0, 14 pts.) to help lead the Everblades to their fourth straight win in which they had to overcome a third-period deficit.
The Solar Bears (3-5-1-1, 8 pts.) were the first to get on the board, with Tristan Langan’s first goal of the season just 14 seconds into the second period putting Orlando ahead 1-0. After Florida goaltender Ken Appleby made an initial save, the Solar Bears crashed the net mouth and poked at Appleby’s pad. Langan managed to shuttle the puck in, a goal that was upheld after an official review.
The ‘Blades found themselves in a familiar situation as they trailed by a goal entering the third period for the second straight game against the Solar Bears.
Huntebrinker tied the game at one at 9:05 of the third period with a slick wraparound goal that beat Orlando goaltender Clint Windsor to the post. The ‘Blades were cycling in the offensive zone when Zach Magwood dropped the puck along the back wall to Huntebrinker. Instead of going around to the opposite side of the net, he decided to keep in stride and tuck the puck inside the post.
The game then went to overtime, the second time this season the two teams have required an extra session and the 12th time in the last two seasons, including playoffs, they have needed overtime.
The ‘Blades ended it with just 48 seconds to play in the overtime period. John McCarron sent a blast from the point that clinked off the inside of the crossbar and fell in behind Windsor. Blake Winiecki was there to slam it home and give the ‘Blades a 2-1 victory.
Appleby earned his fifth win of the season as he stopped 20 of 21 shots fired his way.
- Three of Blake Winiecki’s five goals this season have been game-winners, with two of them coming in overtime victories.
- Blake Winiecki has been a pest against Orlando and his all-time stats against the Solar Bears show it. Including the postseason, he has tabbed eight goals and seven assists in 19 career games against Orlando.
- Florida has trailed in all seven of its wins this season and has overcome a third-period deficit in four contests.
- The Blades line of Justin Auger, John McCarron and Blake Winiecki combined for 21 of Florida’s 41 shots. Each fired seven shots to tie the team’s single-game high for shots on goal in a game by a player.
- Defenseman Ben Masella tallied a goal and two assists for the ‘Blades on the backend in the two-game swing against the Solar Bears. He has a point in three of the four games against Orlando this year.
NEXT UPFlorida meets the Jacksonville Icemen for the first time this season on Saturday, which is Military Night. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.
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