Florida wraps up weekend with 7 p.m. matchup against Solar Bears at Hertz Arena
Following a loss in the opener of the season series on Friday in Orlando, the Florida Everblades (3-1-0-0, 6 pts.) look to bounce back in the finale of the home-and-home set with the Orlando Solar Bears (1-3-0-0, 2 pts.) on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
Last time out
Orlando scored the first four goals of the game, netting two scores in each of the first two periods, to earn its first win of the season in a 4-2 victory over Florida on Friday night at the Amway Center. Defenseman Taylor Doherty (1g-1a) helped create each of the Solar Bears’ first two goals, while Jimmy Huntington netted a pair of assists in his first game with Orlando. Florida’s Blake Winiecki registered his third goal of the season, and Cam Maclise potted his first goal with the ‘Blades.
RECAP | BOX SCORE
Last year’s season series between Florida and Orlando featured a bevy of close contests, with 10 of the 17 meetings between the regular season and postseason requiring overtime. Strangely enough, all seven of the contests that ended in regulation were decided by more than one goal. Florida had four wins against the Solar Bears in games separated by more than one tally, while Orlando claimed three victories by two or more goals. Florida has a stark advantage in the all-time series, holding a 61-25-7 record against the Solar Bears since they joined the ECHL in the 2012-13 season.
Players to Watch
Cam Maclise (FLA) – The third-year pro had consecutive multi-point games to open the season and netted his first goal with the Everblades on Friday in Orlando. He tabbed 12 goals in 34 games a season ago with the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen and now has 17 career ECHL goals in 51 career games. With the goal, Maclise is now the active team leader in scoring with five points (1g-4a).
Brent Pedersen (ORL) – A second-year pro, Pedersen was a thorn in the ‘Blades side in his rookie campaign in 2018-19, a trend that continued in the first meeting between Florida and Orlando on Friday. Pedersen has 10 career points (6g-4a) in just six career games against the Everblades and tabbed his first goal of the season in the weekend opener. He posted the highest-scoring game against Florida a season ago, totaling five points (2g-3a) in Orlando’s 7-2 win against the Everblades on March 1, 2019.
Orlando held a 34-32 edge in shots on goal on Friday, the first time this season that Florida has been outshot in a game. In fact, Florida’s smallest margin in regards to its shots on goal advantage was nine (30-21) in a 5-2 win over Norfolk on Oct. 12. The ‘Blades also yielded a team single-period high 15 shots in the second period of Friday’s game against the Solar Bears.
Everblades fans will notice a lot of familiar names on Orlando’s roster when the two teams meet in Estero for the first time this season on Saturday. The Solar Bears have 13 players on their current roster who suited up for the team last year. That group combined to play 531 games for Orlando and recorded 112 of the team’s 251 goals, 45% of the team’s tallies. Of those 14 players, seven played 40 or more games apiece: Mike Monfredo (71), Michael Brodzinski (69), Cody Donaghey (64), Chris LeBlanc (61), Trevor Olson (51), Dylan Fitze (51), and Kevin Lohan (40).
Picking up the Penalty Kill
The Everblades have been strong while at even strength this season and have surrendered just six 5-on-5 goals in four games. However, Florida’s penalty kill has allowed a power-play goal in each of the first four contests and ranks 19th in the league at 73.7% (14-for-19). There were only five stretches last season where the Everblades allowed a power-play goal in three straight games or more.
Florida will endure its first three-game week of the season next week, a road swing to the Midwest that will feature games against Cincinnati, Fort Wayne and Toledo on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, respectively.