The Orlando Solar Bears began November with a slate that features seven of their next eight games on the road. They started that this past weekend with a two game series set in Greenville against their divisional rival, the Swamp Rabbits.
After taking three out of four points from Greenville, Orlando now finds themselves one point out of first place in the South Division.
Martin Ouellette got the call in net for the first game on Friday evening. Troy Bourke, who had been reassigned by Syracuse on Wednesday, made his Orlando debut, along with recently signed defenseman Curt Gogol.
After an uneventful first period where both teams combined for 29 shots on goal, second period had...well, everything.
Twenty-four seconds into the middle period, Orlando defenseman Etienne Boutet was called for kneeing Michael Pelech, then answered the bell against Trevor Owens. That was the undercard for what happened at the 6:13 mark:
THIS GAME IS WILD. pic.twitter.com/3BsPCFBNqP— Greenville Swamp Rabbits (@SwampRabbits) November 3, 2018
Once the combatants cleared the area, a total of 44 penalty minutes were handed out, and each side lost one player for the remainder of the evening due to a secondary altercation.
Ten seconds after the brawl, Orlando found themselves on a power play, but it was Greenville that took advantage, taking a 1-0 lead on a Johno May goal. The Bears answered just over a minute later as Dylan Fitze’s second of the year tied the game at 1. Orlando took a 2-1 lead with 6:43 remaining in the period on Brent Pederson’s third, but May scored his second of the period just over a minute later for a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes.
A quiet third period lead into overtime, and with 38 seconds remaining, Chris Izmirlian picked up the game winner for the Swamp Rabbits.
Ouellette finished with 27 saves on 30 shots in defeat. Bourke assisted on both Solar Bears goals.
3. Michael Pelech (GRN) 2 assists
2. Johno May (GRN) 2 goals, 1 assist
1. Chris Izmirlian (GRN) GW OT goal
Hard hits. Loud crowd. OT winner.— Greenville Swamp Rabbits (@SwampRabbits) November 3, 2018
Check out the highlights from last night's thrilling overtime win over Orlando. pic.twitter.com/Rx6yLLZana
Rookie goaltender Corbin Boes got his second start in the rematch on Saturday, making his first appearance since a disastrous pro debut against South Carolina on October 16th.
In this one, it was all Orlando from the beginning.
Boutet scored his second goal of the season halfway through the opening period for a 1-0 Solar Bears lead. Fifty-three seconds into the second period, Cody Donaghey scored his first of the season to double the Orlando lead. Pedersen added his fourth on a power play with 4:07 remaining in the second for a 3-0 advantage.
Brady Shaw upped the Solar Bears lead to 4 with his 4th of the season early in the third. Boes would take care of the rest, stopping all 36 Swamp Rabbit shots for his first professional win—and first professional shutout.
That’ll do it! Corbin Boes earns his first pro win with a 36-save shutout, and the Solar Bears pick up a 4-0 win! pic.twitter.com/iCPvGGkHmi— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) November 4, 2018
Bourke added two more assists, while Shaw finished a three point game with two helpers.
3. Corbin Boes (ORL) 36 saves
2. Brady Shaw (ORL) 1 goal, 2 assists
1. Cody Donaghey (ORL) 1 goal, 1 assist
In Other News:
On Thursday, the ECHL announced its monthly award winners for October, and a Solar Bear was one of the honorees. Defenseman Michael Brodzinski was named the ECHL Plus Perfomer of the Month, leading all ECHL players with a +10 rating in 7 games.
DELETE: D Nolan Valleau, signed to PTO by Syracuse 10/30
DELETE: F Mitch Hults, recalled by Syracuse 10/31
ADD: D Curt Gogol, signed SPC 10/31
ADD: F Troy Bourke, reassigned by Syracuse 10/31
The Solar Bears return to the Amway Center on Tuesday morning—yes, morning—as they take on Jacksonville in a 10:30 AM start. Saturday, they head north to South Carolina to face the Stingrays.