Solar Bears squander late lead, fall to Warriors in shootout
ORLANDO — Solar Bears new goalie Mike Brodeur gave up three goals in just as many shootout attempts, while all three Orlando players came up empty on their tries, Sunday afternoon during the Solar Bears 6-5 shootout loss to the Greenville Road Warriors at the Amway Center.
The Solar Bears, who started goalie Mike Brodeur for the first time all season, gave up two early goals in the first period, but were able to narrow Greenville’s lead to one, when forward Olivier Fortier scored on a Solar Bears power play late in the period.
“We didn’t compete for the full 60 minutes, we competed in parts of the game and we just made some mental mistakes,” said Solar Bears coach Drake Berehowsky of his teams play after the game.
Orlando played much better in the second period, and that showed with the three unanswered goals the Solar Bears were able to score. Alternate captain Kevin Baker got his first goal of the season less than five minutes into the period, thanks in part to assists by Ryan Cruthers and Mathew Sisca.
Kyle Medvec was able to give Orlando it’s first lead of the evening when he put the puck in the back of the net midway through the second period.
Greenville was able to score early in the third period, to cut the Solar Bears lead to one, before a goal by Rob Mignardi put Orlando back up by two. The Road Warriors came back with two goals of their own in the final three minutes of regulation.
The game tying goal came with 11 seconds left in the game when Greenville was able to get a score from Sean Berkstresser shortly after pulling their goalie.
Ryan Cruthers also scored for the Solar Bears during regulation time, making him and Mathew Sisca the only Orlando players with a point in every game this season.
Sisca had two assists on the night, both of which came during a three goal second period for the Solar Bears.
“No excuses for losing that game, we should have won, it was 5-3 with four minutes left,” said center Mathew Sisca after the game.
Nick Petersen also had two assist for the Solar Bears on Sunday, following a brief one-game stint with the Houston Areos over the weekend. Petersen still leads the ECHL in scoring with his 14th goal of the season.
The shootout loss marked the second time the Solar Bears had been in shootout this season, the only other time coming in Orlando’s home opening win against the Florida Everblades.
With the loss, the Solar Bears record falls to 3-1-1-1, but they do come away with a valuable point in the standings. With the one point the Orlando Solar Bears jump into a three way tie for second place in the south division standings.
The team now hits the road for a four game road trip, before returning home on Nov. 7 to host the Gwinnett Gladiators on back-to-back days.
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