Solar Bears fall to Komets

ORLANDO — Luca Caputi scored his first two goals of the season Saturday night as the Fort Wayne Komets defeated the Orlando Solar Bears 3-0, in front of 6,883 fans at the Amway Center.

The Solar Bears were shutout for the fourth time in seven games on Saturday, thanks to Komets goalie Charlie Effinger and his 35 saves. The shutout was Effinger’s second of the season.

Fort Wayne scored three goals in the second period, which would prove to be more than enough for the Komets to get their second straight win over Orlando. Caputi scored his first goal of the season 5:14 minutes into the period to give the Komets a 1-0 lead.

Jean-Michel Rizik would extend Fort Wayne’s lead to 2-0 when he scored his eighth goal of the season with 10:30 minutes remaining in the second, this came right after the Solar Bears had just killed a five-on-three powerplay.

“I think we’re just snakebite right now,” said Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky after the game. “We’re getting our opportunities and that’s the most frustrating part.”

Caputi went on to score his second goal of the night with 8:13 minutes left to play in the second period, to give the Komets a 3-0.

The first and third period saw no goals for either team, but their were a fair share of penalties handed out. Solar Bears defenseman Mike Liambas spent 20 minutes in the penalty box during Saturday’s game, which is equivalent to one entire period of play. Liambas was given two major fighting penalties thought the night, as well as a ten minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

“That’s part of his role is to instigate a little bit,” said Berehowsky about Liambas penalty minutes. “He’s got to keep himself under control all the time. He’s a physical player, and sometimes things like that happen.”

Following the loss, Orlando’s record is now 9-11-2-2. The Solar Bears have accumulated 22 points in the standings, which puts them in last place in the South Division behind in-state rivals the Florida Everblades.

“One of the things we preach to our players is resilience,” said Berehowsky. “We’ve got to keep showing resilience, we showed it yesterday. We’re not going to dwell on this.”

Orlando returns to the Amway Sunday, December 9, to face off against the Komets for their final home game before a six game road trip.

Also in injury news, Solar Bears winger Nick Petersen did not dress on Saturday after sustaining an undisclosed injury during Friday’s game.