ESTERO, Fla. – Andrew Fyten scored his first goal of the season for the Florida Everblades, but it was not enough as the home team fell to the Orlando Solar Bears by a 5-1 count before 6,255 fans Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
The first half of the contest belonged to the visitors, as the Solar Bears jumped out a 2-0 lead. In the first period Orlando’s Alex Frye opened the scoring at the 11:20 mark of the opening period to snap the scoreless deadlock. Alexandre Fortin doubled the Solar Bears’ lead with a power-play goal at 8:41 of the second frame.
Fyten’s first goal of the season was a beauty, as he stole the puck from Orlando netminder Brandon Halverson behind the Solar Bears’ cage, made Halverson fall down in front of the goal and pulled the Everblades back within one goal, 2-1, at 14:50 of the middle period. Unfortunately for the good guys, the Solar Bears’ Jaydon Dureau responded quickly and restored Orlando’s two-goal lead at 3-1 with 48 seconds left to play before the second intermission.
Orlando would add insurance markers from Mitchell Hoelscher (4:19) and Fortin (16:12) in the final period to close out the scoring.
Halverson (4-4-0-0) made 23 saves in a victorious effort for Orlando, while Evan Cormier (2-4-1-0) turned aside 24 shots for the Everblades.
The South Division rivals will lock horns once again on Sunday, as action shifts to Orlando for a 6:00 p.m. tilt to kick off next week’s four-game road trip to four different cities. Following Sunday’s quick pit stop in Central Florida, the Blades will visit Jacksonville for a midweek game on Wednesday, December 20 and single games in Savannah on Friday, December 22 and South Carolina on Saturday, December 23 before returning to Hertz Arena for a big series versus the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Thursday, December 28 and Friday, December 29. Visit floridaeverblades.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
Andrew Fyten’s second-period equalizer was his first goal since he scored in four straight contests form March 11-22 of last season. It was also the Everblades’ first unassisted goal since Mark Senden had the honors on December 1 at Adirondack.
Orlando’s second-period power play goal snapped the Blades’ three-game string without allowing a man-up goal. The Blades last surrendered a power-play goal to South Carolina on December 6, while prior to that, one needs to go back to November 29, some seven games ago,
The winning team has scored four or more goals in seven of the first eight meetings between the Everblades and Solar Bears this season.
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