ESTERO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades scored five unanswered goals to earn their biggest win of the season in a 5-1 triumph over the Orlando Solar Bears on Wednesday night at Hertz Arena.
Trailing by a goal entering the second period, Florida (8-4-0-0, 16 pts.) tied its season-high by tallying three times in the middle frame to help it secure its fourth straight win over the Solar Bears (3-6-1-1, 8 pts.).
Near the end of a lengthy first period, which lasted almost an hour, it was Orlando which took the first lead with its only goal of the game. Cody Donaghey scored from the top of the left circle with 2:47 left in the opening frame.
The ‘Blades responded with their first goal of the night less than five minutes into the second period. Moments after being released from the penalty box, Blake Winiecki fired the puck from the top of the right circle through three bodies in front to beat Orlando goaltender Clint Windsor.
Kyle Neuber’s role as the Everblades agitator played a factor in their second goal of the night as he coaxed Solar Bears captain Mike Monfredo into a tripping penalty in front of the Solar Bears net front. The ‘Blades then grabbed the lead right as the penalty to Monfredo expired, as Michael Downing blasted a shot from the deep slot past Windsor.
With 2:20 to play in the middle period, Cam Maclise forced a turnover behind the net and passed the puck out front to Michael Huntebrinker on the doorstep of the Orlando goal for a snapshot to extend the ‘Blades lead to 3-1.
Florida added two more goals in the final 1:31 of the third period with an empty-net goal from Logan Roe, which Maclise followed with a goal of his own only 23 seconds later.
Ken Appleby came up with the victory for the Blades, stopping 23 of 24 shots to grab his sixth win of the season and improve to 6-1-0-0.
- John McCarron tabbed an assist on Michael Downing’s game-winning goal to extend his point streak to seven games, which is tied for a career-high. McCarron has 10 points (3g-7a) in the streak.
- Blake Winiecki continues to be a force against Orlando and has three goals and two assists in five games against the Solar Bears this season.
- Ken Appleby’s 2.02 goals-against average is third among ECHL goaltenders.
- Florida’s four-goal margin of victory was its largest in a regular season game against the Solar Bears over the last two seasons.
- Florida’s goals 23 seconds apart in the third period were its fastest two goals of the season.
- Alex Tonge (2a), Logan Roe (1g-1a) and Maclise (1g-1a) all had multi-point efforts for Florida.
NEXT UPThe Everblades travel to Orlando for a Thursday night matchup against the Solar Bears, the second game of a four-game week for Florida. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Amway Center.
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