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Solar Bears Fall to Everblades in Season Opener

Solar Bears Fall to Everblades in Season Opener

ESTERO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears dropped their first game of the 2020-21 season to the Florida Everblades on Saturday night by a score of 4-2.

Scoring opened up just a mere 26 seconds in as newcomer Cameron Hebig snuck one in past Solar Bears goaltender Clint Windsor. Hebig had scored three goals in the two-game, preseason set the two teams battled in just a week prior. Rookie Patrick Harper added to the Everblades total, with his second of the season in just as many games. This lead was cut short by Ryan Lohin, who netted the Solar Bears’ first goal of the 2020-21 season.

Almost 11 minutes into the second period, Orlando’s Dmitri Semykin totaled Lukas Craggs, which resulted in pushing and shoving from everyone on the ice. Semykin’s actions earned him a match penalty, as well as a five-minute major. Michael Huntebrinker and defenseman Alexander Kuqali balanced out scoring during this Everblades advantage, keeping the Florida lead at one.

After a relatively clean third period, the Solar Bears were unable to break Everblades goaltender Devin Cooley, with a measly eight shots during the period, a wide gap from Florida’s 15 chances. Veteran Joe Pendenza crushed their chances, sealing the game with an empty-netter with less than half a minute remaining.

The Solar Bears were 0-for-4 on the powerplay, compared to Florida’s 1-for-7, with their lone tally coming from Huntebrinker. The Everblades also held an advantage in the shot category, finishing off the game at 33 to 22.

All three stars were handed out to members of the home team. Third and second were handed out to Harper and Hebig, respectively. Both skaters pocketed a goal, while Cooley received the highest honor, stopping all but two of Orlando’s 22 shots.

Announced attendance at the game was 3,236, with a handful of Solar Bears fans making the nearly three-hour drive to the Fort Myers suburb. This figure was slightly down from the Everblades’ home opener the previous evening, which drew 3,430 spectators.

Orlando will travel north to West Virginia for a two-game set against the Wheeling Nailers on the December 18 and 19. The Sin Bin’s Wheeling correspondent John Hafer will have those games covered for you. Puck drop for both contests will be at 7:10 pm ET, with only season-ticket holders permitted entry.

Follow Aiden on Twitter for the latest game recaps and post-game analysis for the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears!

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    Aiden Foley covers the Newfoundland Growlers for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHGrowlers.

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