After getting a few days off for the ECHL All-Star Break, it was back to the grind for the Orlando Solar Bears this past weekend. They resumed their season-long nine game road trip.
Going into Saturday night’s game against the Atlanta Gladiators, #7 of the trip, Orlando had a .500 record (3-3). With their regular goaltender back in the fold, the Solar Bears used a comeback to start their second half schedule on the right note.
News of the Week:
-After picking up his first AHL win last week on Monday afternoon, goaltender Martin Ouellette returned to the Solar Bears on Tuesday. To make room on the roster, goaltender Charlie Millen was released after picking up one win in three appearances.
-Two Solar Bears were suspended by the ECHL on Thursday for separate incidents late in the third period in South Carolina on Sunday afternoon:
“Orlando’s Dylan Fitze has been suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount as a result of his actions in ECHL Game #156, Orlando at South Carolina, on Jan. 20.
Fitze was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding under Rule #41.5 at 17:26 of the third period. He is fined and suspended under Rule #28 – Supplementary Discipline.”
“Orlando’s Cody Donaghey has been suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount as a result of his actions in ECHL Game #156, Orlando at South Carolina, on Jan. 20.
Donaghey was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for cross-checking under Rule #59.5 at 19:23 of the third period. He is fined and suspended under Rule #28 – Supplementary Discipline.”
After getting a six-day break, Orlando got back on the bus and headed north to Atlanta, where they took on the Gladiators. Ouellette was back in the Solar Bears’ starting net for the first time since December 21st.
Projected Lines:— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) January 27, 2019
Ouellette in goal
: https://t.co/fV1V8amhMz pic.twitter.com/M3SrQlVv1O
The hosts welcomed Ouellette back to the ECHL by scoring twice on him in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Avery Peterson gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead 2:52 into the game with his second goal of the season. Filip Pyrochta doubled the Gladiator lead just under seven minutes later with his first goal.
Orlando began to rally back in the second period. On their third power play of the night, Trevor Olson picked up his 7th of the season to cut the Atlanta lead in half.
With 11:42 to go in regulation, Colby McAuley tied the game at 2 with his 7th of the season. Ouellette stopped all 12 Atlanta shots in the third to force overtime.
The comeback was completed in the extra session. At the 2:13 mark, Tayler Thompson scored the game winner unassisted, his second of the season.
Check out Tayler Thompson’s overtime game winner pic.twitter.com/BxZNU1s8fG— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) January 27, 2019
After a rough start, Ouellette rebounded nicely, finishing with 32 saves on 34 shots in his 10th win of the season. Michael Brodzinski added two assists.
3. Martin Ouellette (ORL) 32 saves
2. Matt Lane (ATL) 2 assists
1. Tayler Thompson (ORL) GW OT goal
Checking on the Prospects:
With the light schedule this week, let’s check in on how the Tampa/Syracuse contingent is faring in Central Florida. All stats are through January 26th.
Jonne Tammela: 18 GP, 11 goals, 10 assists, 21 points
Mitch Hults: 23 GP, 6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points
Oleg Sosunov: 15 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points
Olivier Archambault: 1 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points
Martin Ouellette: 16 GP, 10-5-1, 2.99 GAA, .908 save percentage
Orlando begins their February slate by finishing out their nine-game road trip.
Friday night, they head to Greenville to visit the Swamp Rabbits. Then it’s back to Atlanta on Saturday for the second time in seven days to face the Gladiators.