ORLANDO, Fla. – Three first-period goals in in a span of one minute and 18 seconds and a season-high 41-save performance by ECHL All-Star Cam Johnson was all the Florida Everblades needed to claim a fourth-straight victory over the Orlando Solar Bears, taking a 5-2 decision Friday evening at Amway Center to send 8,102 Solar Bears fans home disappointed.
Despite Orlando’s Brayden Guy opening the scoring just under five minutes after the opening draw, Florida took a 3-1 advantage into the first intermission. Former Solar Bear James McEwan and Cole Moberg potted goals 24 seconds apart, while Levko Koper made it three first-period goals in 78 seconds to stake the visiting Everblades to a two-goal lead after 20 minutes.
Blake Winiecki extended the Blades lead to 4-1 midway through the second period before Orlando’s Ross Olsson netted an early third-period goal that trimmed the Florida lead to 4-2. Xavier Cormier added an empty-net goal to close out the scoring, with Johnson picking up a goalie assist. Cormier (1 G, 1 A) and Nathan Staios (2 A) both had two-point performances for Florida.
With a season-high 41 saves, Johnson was a winner once again in goal for the Everblades, improving to 14-4-3-1, while extending his record to 5-0-3-1 in his last nine decisions away from Hertz Arena.
Both teams will faceoff once again at Hertz Arena on Saturday, January 7, with the puck slated to drop on First Responders Night at 7:00 p.m. SCORING SUMMARY – Click for full box score 1st Period 4:55 Orlando B. Guy 7 (M. Cajkovic, M. Foget) 17:12 Florida J. McEwan 3 (X. Cormier) 17:36 Florida C. Moberg 2 (C. Darcy) 18:30 Florida L. Koper 4 (N. Staios, J. Smith) 2nd Period 10:16 Florida B. Winiecki 7 (N. Kneen) 3rd Period 2:16 Orlando R. Olsson 11 (D. Semykin) 17:59 Florida X. Cormier 4 EN (N. Staios) GOALTENDERS Florida – Cam Johnson 41 Saves Orlando – Joe Murdaca, 15 Saves TEAM STATISTICS Shots on Goal – Florida 21, Orlando 43 Power Plays – Florida 0-2, Orlando 0-5 Shorthanded Goals – Florida 0, Orlando 0 Penalties (Minutes) – Florida 6 (15), Orlando 3 (9)
NEWS AND NOTES
The Everblades picked up their fifth win over the Solar Bears, most against any one opponent this season. Florida has won four straight contests against Orlando, by a combined score of 23-12. On the year, head coach Brad Ralph’s squad holds a 5-2-1-0 advantage over the Solar Bears, including a 2-1-1-0 mark at Amway Center and a 3-1-0-0 tally at Hertz Arena.
Cam Johnson is riding a five-game unbeaten streak, as he sports a 3-0-1-0 mark with one no-decision in his last five starts. With a season-high 41 saves in the victory, Johnson logged his sixth 30-plus save performance of the year. The ECHL All-Star also logged an assist on Xavier Cormier’s empty-net goal, the first assist by an Everblade goalie this season.
With an assist on Cole Moberg’s first-period goal, Cam Darcy now has team highs with 13 points and 10 assists in seven games played versus Orlando, including eight points in the teams’ last three matchups.
Blake Winiecki’s second-period goal was his team-leading fourth goal against the Solar Bears this season. Winiecki now has seven goals on the year.
Jake Smith extended his point streak to four games with an assist on Levko Koper’s first-period goal. In the Blades’ last four games, Smith has one goal and three assists.
In the past three games, the Everblades are a perfect 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.
The scene shifts from Central Florida to Southwest Florida as the Everblades and Solar Bears will square off on at Hertz Arena on Saturday, January 7 at 7:00 p.m.
At Saturday’s game, the Everblades will host a special First Responders Night. The Blades and our fans will honor the first responders that work day and night. Blades players will don specialty first responders’ jerseys, presented by WestShore OMS Specialists, and roceeds from the jersey auction will be donated to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. We will also have live music at our Saturday Tailgate Party!
Be sure and catch all the action on FloHockey.TV. Listen to the exciting game action on ESPN Southwest Florida on 770 AM, 98.1 FM, 104.3 FM and online at https://espnswfl.com or Mixlr at https://everblades.mixlr.com.
JOIN THE FUN
Purchase a new Voucher 12 package that allows you to use 12 tickets in any quantity during the 2022-23 season to earn the exclusive benefits of being a Blades 365 Member! To view the Blades 365 Membership savings, benefits and options click HERE.
Group Packages are available for a group of 10 or more!Everblades put the FUN in FUNdraising! There is no handling of money or tickets and no limit to the amount of money your group can make with the Everblades easy-to-run online Fundraiser! For more information, or to reserve a Fundraiser Night at an Everblades regular season home game, call or text (239) 948-7825.
Grab the newest and hottest Everblades merchandise by checking out the entire collection that is available online by visiting shop.floridaeverblades.com or at the Hertz Arena Pro Shop!
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. Listen to the exciting game action on ESPN Southwest Florida on 770 AM, 98.1 FM, 104.3 FM and online at https://espnswfl.com or everblades.mixlr.com.
The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and the AHL's Charlotte Checkers.