After dropping their first two outings to start the season, the Orlando Solar Bears looked to rebound with a pair of games to close out a brief October slate.
While on the scoresheet it will show the team went 1-1 for the week, it was another win off the ice for one of their own that was the most important of all.
It was back to the Amway Center on Wednesday evening, as Orlando looked once again to get their first win against the Icemen.
The Solar Bears got off to a good start in the opening period with a pair of goals. Shawn Szydlowski scored his second of the year 2:43 into the contest for a 1-0 lead.
Rookie Joe Carroll doubled the Orlando lead at the 8:04 mark with his first professional tally.
Sing a carol for Carroll pic.twitter.com/F0395171GK— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) October 26, 2022
Jacksonville found their way onto the scoresheet late in the second period, cutting the lead in half on a Christopher Brown power play goal. Szydlowski made it a 3-1 contest with 25 seconds remaining in the period with his second goal of the evening.
Szydlowski making it look easy pic.twitter.com/lVfwThSkTW— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) October 27, 2022
Ross Olsson extended the Solar Bears lead to 4-1 3:07 into the third with his first of the season on a power play.
Racking up the goals tonight! pic.twitter.com/Ap1rLhqBTO— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) October 27, 2022
Former Bear Ryan Lohin cut the lead to 4-2 at the 4:53 mark, but Olsson then scored his second of the night 47 seconds later for a 5-2 Orlando lead.
You can never have too many goals pic.twitter.com/wSzE6sAv1x— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) October 27, 2022
Michael Brodzinski closed out the scoring with his second of the season with 2:52 remaining for the final 6-2 margin.
Things we love to see pic.twitter.com/LBc7itsN1k— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) October 27, 2022
Jack Lafontaine got the win in net, stopping 26 of 28 shots in just under 49 minutes of work before exiting in favor of Brad Barone, who stopped all 5 shots he faced. Brodzinski and Karl El-Mir added two assists each.
A Big Win...
Prior to the season, forward Hunter Fejes had been signed, but placed on reserve. On Friday, he revealed his personal fight—and win—over cancer.
Stick taps to you, sir, on a courageous battle, and hoping for a return to the ice soon.
Element Returns: On Saturday, forward Shawn Element was reassigned by Syracuse to the Solar Bears. He appeared in two games for the Crunch, going scoreless.
For the first time this season, the Solar Bears faced an opponent not called the Jacksonville Icemen, as they welcomed the Gladiators for a Sunday pre-Halloween matinee.
The team exchanged goals midway through the opening period. Atlanta took a 1-0 lead at the 9:41 mark with a power play goal, but Carroll quickly responded with his second goal of the season 90 seconds later to tie things up at 1.
Orlando took a 2-1 lead midway through the second on a goal from Olsson, who just to be sure sent himself into the net.
When we said in the goal, we meant it! pic.twitter.com/q1Nc1ftS8P— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) October 30, 2022
The Gladiators tied, then took, a 3-2 lead with goals 2:26 from Cody Sylvester and Noah Laaouan, the latter coming shorthanded. Orlando then re-tied the game with 2:31 to go in the second on Andrew Sturtz’s first goal of the season.
Things we like to see!⬇️ pic.twitter.com/feUd7ZIitd— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) October 30, 2022
Atlanta would get to Barone in the third, scoring three times in a span of 57 seconds. Two of those goals came on a 1:47 5 on 3 for the Gladiators.
Barone finished with 37 saves on 43 shots. Olsson and 4 others had one assist each.
Orlando hits the road for a pair of divisional match-ups, heading to Atlanta on Friday and South Carolina on Sunday.