Estero, FL - The Orlando Solar Bears opened up preseason action with a 5-4 victory over the Florida Everblades at the Germain Arena on Friday night. F Mike Ullrich notched a pair of power play goals in the win for Orlando.
The Solar Bears opened up the contest with a four goal first period. 6:12 seconds into the frame, F Jacob Lagace deflected a shot from D Myles Harvey to start the Nick McParland scoring with a power play goal. Four minutes later, the Solar Bears increased their lead to 2-0 when F Nick McParland collected a rebound on a scramble in front of the net and slid the puck over the line. Just 23 seconds later, Orlando increased their lead to 3-0 when a pass deflected off the skate of Florida D Tyson Gimblett and past G Zeke Testa. The first period scoring was capped off by F Mike Ullrich when he tallied the second power play goal of the frame on a blast from on top of the left wing circle to give Orlando a 4-0 lead heading into the second period.
Orlando stretched their lead to 5-0 with a power play marker midway though the second stanza. F David Rutherford fired a pass to Ullrich, who slipped a shot between the pads of Testa at 9:07 for his second power play goal of the game. Florida broke through for their first goal of the contest with 2:57 left in the period when D Ladislav Hruska squeezed a long wrister inside the left goalpost, bringing the score to 5-1 after two.
The Everblades started strong in the third period, with F Ryan Little and F John Henrion each scoring within five minutes of the start of the frame, cutting Orlando's lead to 5-3. With just under half of the period remaining, D Austin Levi followed up his own rebound, depositing a wraparound attempt into the cage to cut the Solar Bears lead to just one. Florida earned a late power play chance at the end of the period with the goaltender pulled, but the Solar Bears held off the late attack to secure the 5-4 victory.
Three Stars: 1. M. Ullrich (ORL); 2. J. Henrion (FLA); 3. J. Caveney (FLA)
Power Plays: ORL: 3/8; FLA: 0/3
Shots: ORL: 24; FLA: 29
The Solar Bears will hit the ice again tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. in Estero for their final preseason game... Head Coach Vince Williams made his Solar Bears debut tonight... G Allen Ruane started his first professional game... D George Hughes had two assists in the contest... Orlando plays their Home Opener next Saturday, October 19, at 7:00 p.m. against the Florida Everblades.