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Solar Bears Week in Review: Welcome to the basement

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Orlando finds themselves in last place in the South Division as the calendar turns to December.

Syracuse Crunch Oleg Sosunov (76) playing against the Charlotte Checkers in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, October 27, 2018. Charlotte won 6-3.
Scott Thomas Photography

It was a light week for the Orlando Solar Bears, as they only had two games sandwiched around the Thanksgiving holiday. However, with a dried up offense, the team was unable to grab any points, and now find themselves at the bottom of the South Division standings.

Roster Moves:

-After spending a month in Syracuse and only appearing in one game in early November, Oleg Sosunov was reassigned to Orlando on Tuesday.

-On Saturday, defenseman Taylor Doherty was traded to Fort Wayne for future considerations. Additionally, the team released forward Lucas Kohls who appeared in 3 games, from his contract.

Tuesday, 11/26: Norfolk 4, Orlando 2

For the first time in 12 days, the Solar Bears played on home ice, as they welcomed the Admirals to the Amway Center for a pre-Thanksgiving matchup.

Norfolk took a 1-0 lead just 2:01 into the contest. After Orlando’s Trevor Olson was called for an elbowing call 1:50 in, Alex Rodriguez picked up the power play goal 11 seconds into the man advantage.

The visitors doubled their lead 4:03 into the second on Charlie O’Connor’s third goal of the season. Orlando cut the lead in half 1:48 later on Mikhail Shalagin’s third goal, then tied the game at 2 on a Tristin Langan goal.

Norfolk broke the tie midway through the third period, as Johnny Coughlin scored 13 seconds into the Admirals’ 5th power play of the night. Zach Franko added an empty net goal with 1:11 remaining to seal the win, extending Orlando’s winless streak to three games.

Zachary Fucale stopped 26 of 29 Norfolk shots in the loss.

3 Stars:

3. Roman Durny (NOR) 35 saves

2. Tristin Langan (ORL) 1 goal

1. Johnny Coughlin (NOR) 1 goal, 1 assist

Saturday, 11/30: South Carolina 2, Orlando 0

After enjoying Thanksgiving, the Solar Bears were back at it on Saturday night, as they faced off against the Stingrays, who have started the season by winning 13 of their first 15 games.

The game quickly turned into a goaltenders’ duel between Orlando’s Clint Windsor and South Carolina’s Logan Thompson, as neither team was able to generate offense. Finally, with 18 seconds remaining in the second, the Stingrays took a 1-0 lead on Matt Nuttle’s first goal of the season.

The Solar Bears outshot the Stingrays 14-9 in the third period, but were simply unable to get anything past Thompson. Tommy Hughes added an empty net goal as time was expiring in the third to seal the win for South Carolina.

Windsor finished with 35 saves on 36 shots in the hard luck loss. Thompson stopped all 36 shots for his first professional shutout.

3 Stars:

3. Matt Nuttle (SC) 1 goal

2. Clint Windsor (ORL) 35 saves

1. Logan Thompson (SC) 36 saves, SHO

This Week:

After a light schedule last week, Orlando will be quite busy on home ice to begin the month of December. The Solar Bears will again face off against South Carolina tonight in a rare Monday night game. Then a 3-in-3 set begins on Thursday, as Jacksonville comes in for a visit. On Friday and Saturday, Orlando will play host to Atlanta to finish out the week.