Estero, FL - The Orlando Solar Bears held strong late and beat the Blades 4-2 Friday night at Hertz Arena in front of 5,265 loyal fans.
Florida, who won the previous three meetings against Orlando this season, outshot Orlando 12-7 in the first period but trailed after the opening 20 thanks to a power play goal from Brayden Low.
In the second, Orlando expanded their lead up to 3-1 thanks to goals from Mitchell Hoelscher and Tanner Dickinson. Shane Kuzmeski found twine for the Everblades, scoring his first goal of the season in his first game with his new team. Former Everblades goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick left the game six minutes in to the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. Fitzpatrick made 17 saves on 18 shots against before being replaced by Brandon Halverson.
Florida was able to make it a one-goal game when Oliver Chau tipped home a shorthanded tally for his first goal of the season off a shot from the right circle. Florida tried to push late with a power play, but Chris Harpur buried an empty netter to give the Solar Bears the win.
Orlando went 1/4 on the power play while the Everblades finished scoreless on seven attempts. Cam Johnson finished with 23 saves on 26 shots against while Halverson gets credit for the win with 14 saves on 15 shots against. Florida outshot the Solar Bears 33-27 in the match.
The Everblades finish the set tomorrow night against Orlando on Saturday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. in celebration of Military Night, presented by the National Coalition for Patriots.
- Tommy Apap grabbed an assist for his first point with Florida.
- The Everblades outshot their opponent for the first time this season.
- There has been at least one fight in every meeting between Florida and Orlando this season.
- Florida scored and allowed a shorthanded goal for the first time this season.