ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (12-5-0-1) fell 3-2 to the Orlando Solar Bears (9-6-1-0) in a shootout on Friday night at Hertz Arena. The shootout period lasted six rounds with Orlando’s Tristin Langan eventually netting the game-winner.
FIRST STAR: Tristan Langan - one goal, shootout goal
SECOND STAR: Garret Sparks - 31 saves, five shootout saves
THIRD STAR: Jake Hildebrand - 31 saves, four shootout saves
Orlando scored first with a second-period goal from Tristin Langan. Solar Bears defenseman Michael Prapavessis started the play by cutting to the slot, then dropped the pass back for Langan who potted his third goal of the year (4:23).
Later in the second on an Orlando power play, Blades forward Michael Neville made a strong defensive play to push the puck out of the Florida zone. Michael Huntebrinker continued the play up ice for the Everblades and drew a penalty shot after being slashed from behind. On the first Florida penalty shot of the season, Huntebrinker dangled around Orlando’s Garret Sparks to tie the game at 1-1 (7:43).
The Everblades took their first lead of the game late in the second when forward Blake Winiecki dropped a pass for John McCarron in the mid-slot. McCarron then pulled the puck to his backhand and lifted it over Sparks’ blocker to give Florida a 2-1 lead (17:23). With the tally, McCarron takes sole possession of fourth place all-time for goals by an Everblades player with 117.
The Solar Bears tied the game at 2-2 in the third period when Orlando forward Chris LeBlanc sprang forward on a breakaway and shot the puck past Florida goaltender Jake Hildebrand (7:35).
With 50 seconds left in the third period, it appeared as though Orlando might have scored a flukey goal off the back of Hildebrand. The play was reviewed, and it was ruled that the puck never crossed the goal line.
After a scoreless overtime period and a six-round shootout, Langan ended the game with a wrist shot past Hildebrand. The Florida netminder stopped four of six in the shootout, while Michael Huntebrinker was the only Everblade to get the puck past Garret Sparks in six tries.
The Everblades play tomorrow night on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 7:00 p.m. against the Orlando Solar Bears at Hertz Arena. Find tickets for the game on Feb. 6HERE.
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