After a win in Greenville to start 2022, the Orlando Solar Bears got a break in the schedule, getting a full 9 days off in between games.
Off the ice, there were a few updates:
-Stick taps to forward Hunter Fejes, who was named the Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week on Monday. All he did was put up five goals and two assists in Orlando’s three wins to close out 2021 and start 2022. Brad Barone was in the running for the Goaltender of the Week after a 3-0 week in his return to the lineup but finished behind Allen goaltender Antoine Bibeau for the honor.
-On Tuesday, with Max Lagace returning to Syracuse after filling in with the parent club, rookie Amir Miftakhov was reassigned to the Solar Bears. He had started the season on the Solar Bears’ roster but was recalled after Lagace was injured in the Crunch’s first game of the 2021-22 season. Miftakhov went 3-4-2 in 12 games with a 2.65 GAA and .907 save percentage, including his first pro shutout, for the Crunch.
-After appearing in three games for Hartford, defenseman Michael Brodzinski returned to Florida on Tuesday. To make room on the roster, Rich Boyd was released after appearing in four games.
-Speaking of Hartford, teammate Aaron Luchuk is fitting in just fine.
-Forward Kyle Topping was activated from the Commissioner’s Exempt List on Wednesday and was immediately recalled by San Jose.
-Before Monday’s contest, defenseman Nolan Valleau signed a PTO with Stockton, and looks to make his first AHL appearance since the 2019-20 season in Syracuse.
-Let’s check in with forward Tyler Bird, who has been out since late November due to injury:
Tyler Bird credits staying in shape away from the rink as he prepares to return from the IR:— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) January 7, 2022
“Obviously not playing games, you’re going to get out of game-shape a little bit; it comes back quickly, so I think after a game or two I should be back to feeling pretty normal.” pic.twitter.com/OTiPHFYhlN
Game #31, Monday 1/10:
Bird made his return to the lineup as the Solar Bears played their first home game of 2022, welcoming the Stingrays for the second time in 10 days.
After missing the last 16 games on IR, Tyler Bird returns to the lineup; it's a day in goal as Brad Barone makes his fourth straight start!— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) January 10, 2022
https://t.co/gs4DpdafNL via @flohockey
https://t.co/fV1V8a4GnZ | https://t.co/ov8kK302BP | @boltsradio
Orlando did not waste time in the opening frame, scoring twice in a span of 17 seconds early on. Dmitry Semykin got the Solar Bears on the board 1:52 in with his second goal of the season from the blue line.
Take a look back at Semykin's goal! pic.twitter.com/PRFOMH0UGC— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) January 11, 2022
Tristin Langan then tipped in his third of the season off a lucky bounce to double the Orlando lead.
Here's a look back at Langan's goal! pic.twitter.com/LDmN1Bbc4T— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) January 11, 2022
The Stingrays cut the lead in half 7:19 into the second period on a goal by Nate Pionk.
Orlando will host Wheeling in a 3-game weekend series at the Amway Center before the ECHL All-Star Classic takes place in Jacksonville on January 17th. No rosters have been announced as of yet, but at least one member of the Solar Bears staff will be on hand for the festivities.