Solar Bears Week in Review: Defense optional

Orlando drops 2 out of 3 for the week, giving up many goals in the process.

After picking up their first win of the season on Monday, the Orlando Solar Bears were looking to carry that momentum as they finished their season opening 3 game homestand before hitting the road for the weekend.

Fourteen goals given up and two losses later...that didn’t quite happen.

Tuesday, 10/16: South Carolina 6, Orlando 5

After defeating the Stingrays on Monday for their first win of the year, the Solar Bears looked to sweep the two game set, and finish off the homestand on a high note.

Rookie Corbin Boes was in net for his first professional start. It didn’t go according to plan.  Grant Besse greeted Boes with his second goal of the season 37 seconds after puck drop, giving South Carolina a 1-0 lead before most of the Amway Center crowd could settle into their seats.

At the 17:10 mark, Nolan Valleau tied the game up at 1 with his first of the season.  The Stingrays took the one goal lead right back, as Mike Chen picked up a shorthanded goal.  Orlando re-tied the game late in the period as Brady Shaw scored his second of the year.

Second period was all Stingrays, as they put up four against Boes. Jonathan Charbonneau started the scoring with his first of the year on a power play 47 seconds into the period.  Matt Pohlkamp’s first just under four minutes later put South Carolina ahead by two.  On another power play chance with 7:20 remaining in the period, Sam Fioretti made it 5-2 with his first of the season.  Finally, with 1:03 to go in the second, Jake Kamrass scored his third for a commanding 6-2 Stingrays lead.

Or...was it?

After losing defenseman Etienne Boutet to a major and game misconduct for charging early in the third, Orlando was able to kill off the extended penalty kill.  Off that momentum, the Solar Bears began to rally back. Valleau picked up his second of the game on a power play 7:53 in to cut the lead to three.  Orlando made it a 6-4 game with 7:11 remaining on a Colby McAuley goal, his third.  Just over a minute later, Hunter Fejes scored on a power play to make it 6-5.  Unfortunately, the Solar Bears were unable to get that sixth goal, and South Carolina escaped with the win.

Boes took the loss in his pro debut, finishing with 35 saves.

3 Stars:

3. Nolan Valleau (ORL)—2 goals

2. Jake Kamrass (SC)—1 goal

1. Grant Besse (SC)—1 goal, 1 assist

Friday, 10/19: Jacksonville 6, Orlando 2

The Solar Bears headed north on Friday, as they visited the IceMen for the first time this season. Goalie Martin Ouelette returned to the net, getting the start for Orlando.

The first period was all Solar Bears, as they got two goals in the first period.  Michael Brodzinski scored his first of the year midway through the period for a 1-0 Orlando lead.  Fejes doubled the lead with 28 seconds to go, picking up his third.

Then, in the second, things went downhill. Fast.

Jacksonville put up three goals against Ouelette in the middle period. Alexis D’Aoust cut the Solar Bear lead in half with his second 6:03 into the period.  Garret Cockerill then tied the game up with his first of the season, at the 9:12 mark.  Finally, with 58 seconds remaining in the period, the IceMen got their first lead on a power play goal from Everett Clark.  To add insult to injury, the Solar Bears lost a player to a major penalty for the second straight game. Vince Dunn was ejected for a checking from behind major.

The IceMen continued the goal onslaught in the third.  While on their extended power play, Wacey Rabbit gave Jacksonville a 4-2 lead 27 seconds into the period.  Cody Fowlie put the IceMen up by three with his second of the season at the 11:57 mark.  Finally, D’Aoust finished off the night with his second of the game with 11 seconds to go, finishing off a 6-2 win.

Ouelette took the loss, stopping 27 shots.

3 Stars:

3. Mikhail Berden (JAX)—23 saves

2. Wacey Rabbit (JAX)—1 goal, 1 assist

1. Alexis D’Aoust (JAX)—2 goals, 2 assists

Saturday, 10/20: Orlando 4, Atlanta 1

The road trip continued north into Atlanta, as the Solar Bears looked to salvage their week against the Gladiators.

After a scoreless first period, Orlando got things going in the second.  Fejes started off the scoring with a shorthanded goal, his fourth of the year, for a 1-0 lead 1:10 into the period.  Zach Todd then added his first goal of the year 1:48 later to double the Solar Bears lead.  Dunn made it a 3-0 contest midway through the period with his second of the season.  The Gladiators cut the lead to 3-1 with 3:16 to go in the period with a power play goal by Justin McDonald.

Orlando finished off Atlanta in the third, as Fejes scored his second of the game for a 4-1 win, breaking a two game skid for the Solar Bears.  Ouelette rebounded nicely from Friday’s disastrous outing, stopping 37 of 38 shots in his second win of the season.

3 Stars:

3. Justin McDonald (ATL)—1 goal

2. Hunter Fejes (ORL)—2 goals

1. Martin Ouelette (ORL)—37 saves


DELETE: F Alexandre Ranger, released (claimed on waivers by Jacksonville)

ADD: F Mathieu Foget, acquired from Florida

This Week:

The Solar Bears will take on intra-state rival Florida for the first time this season, in a home and home series.  Friday, the Everblades visit Amway Center.  Orlando will return the favor by traveling to Estero on Saturday.