ESTERO, Fla. – Kobe Roth and Brad Morrison scored goals and Cam Johnson registered 37 saves, but the Florida Everblades came up short in an epic 14-round shootout as the Orlando Solar Bears claimed a 3-2 victory in front of 6,947 passionate hockey fans Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
The teams battled to a scoreless first period, with the Everblades posting a 10-9 edge in shots on goal and the Solar Bears coming up empty on the only power play opportunity for either team in the opening frame.
Goals remained difficult to come by for most of the second period as Orlando outshot the Everblades 19-9, but both teams converted power-play goals to take a 1-1 deadlock into the second intermission. The Solar Bears broke through first, as Bennett McArthur struck for the visitors at the 15:53 mark, while Florida’s Kobe Roth responded at 18:23 with his 12th goal of the season, as Joe Pendenza and Robert Calisti picked up the assists.
Orlando’s tally came on their sixth power-play opportunity of the game, while the Everblades goal was on their second man advantage.
In the third period, the 1-1 draw held up until the 15:21 mark, when Brad Morrison gave the Everblades a 2-1 lead with his seventh goal of the season, with Blake Winiecki and Xavier Cormier picking up assists on the Blades’ second power-play goal of the game. The Solar Bears answered just 80 seconds later on a Tyson Feist even-strength tally at 16:41 that knotted the game at 2-2.
Neither team scored in seven minutes of 3-on-3 overtime hockey, as each team took two shots in the extra period.
In an epic shootout, Chris Harpur sealed the victory for Orlando with the Solar Bears’ fifth goal in the 14thround. Winiecki (1st round), Oliver Chau (4th round), Joe Pendenza (6th round) and Kobe Roth (8th round) converted successfully for the Everblades, while Mathieu Foget (3rd round), Ross Olsson (4th round), Michael Brodzinski (6th round) and Brayden Guy (8th round) also found the net for Orlando.
In between the pipes for the Blades, Cam Johnson made 37 saves and fell to (20-6-4-3), while Jimmy Poreda registered 29 stops for Orlando.
On the offensive side of the ledger, Pendenza extended his point streak to four games (2 G, 3 A), while Roth factored into the scoring for the second-straight night (2 G, 1 A).
Next up for the Blades is the longest road trip of the year by distance as the club heads west for three games in the Lone Star State as they visit the Allen Americans on Wednesday, February 15 followed by contests on Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18. All three matchups in the northern suburb of Dallas, Texas will get underway at 8:05 p.m.
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and the AHL's Charlotte Checkers.