Solar Bears top Komets

ORLANDO — Ryan Reaves, Sean Lorenz and Bryce Lampman each scored their first goals of the season for the Solar Bears as Orlando beat the Fort Wayne Komets 6-2, on Sunday, avoiding a three game weekend sweep.

The Solar Bears came into Sunday’s game losing back-to-back match-ups against the Komets, as well as seven of their last eight games dating back to Nov. 20.

Orlando had two goals in each of the three periods of play on Sunday, each coming from a different player.

C.J. Severyn scored Orlando’s first goal of the afternoon one minute and forty seconds into the game, giving the Solar Bears an early 1-0 lead. Orlando extended their lead to 2-0, when defenseman Sean Lorenz scored his first goal of the season with 14:45 remaining in the first period.

Fort Wayne cut the Solar Bears lead to one, when Brandon Marino scored his ninth goal of the season three minutes into the second period. Orlando regained their two goal lead midway through the period, when forward Ryan Reaves scored his first goal in a Solar Bears uniform to make the score 3-1 for Orlando. Solar Bears captain Ryan Cruthers added a goal late in the period, extending Orlando’s lead to 4-1.

“He’s huge. He’s going to lead,” said Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky about Reaves. “He’s going to be a good example to follow in practice. He knows how to play the game the right way and that’s one of the reasons I brought him in.”

Orlando only took four shots in the third period, but two of those four shots went into the back of the net. First Olivier Fortier scored four minutes after Fort Wayne’s Ryan Lasch made the score 4-2 with 15:34 left to play in the third period.

“The guys played hard,” said Berehowsky after the game. “They played a full 60 minutes, our leaders led, and everybody else followed suit.”

The Solar Bears second goal of the third period came from Bryce Lampman with 8:37 left in the game. Lampman, who had not scored a goal in nine games played for Orlando, brought the game to it’s final score of 6-2.

“It feels good,” said Lampman about his first goal as a Solar Bear. “We’ve had some struggles scoring lately, but it was nice to get that first one out of the way.”

John Curry started Sunday’s game at goalie for Orlando, after Darcy Kuemper was in goal for the first two games of the series.
“His plays been great,” said Lampman of Curry’s play. “We’ve actually been pretty pleased with our goaltending lately.”

With the win on Sunday, the Solar Bears went 1-1-0-1 during the three game homestand, while coming up with three points in the standings.

The Solar Bears started the homestand on Friday, with a 4-5 shootout loss to the Komets. The first loss came after Orlando gave up a goal in the final eight seconds to Fort Wayne’s Thomas Beauregard, which allowed Fort Wayne to tie the game. After a scoreless overtime, Beauregard scored the only goal of the shootout, to clinch the win for the Komets.

Orlando returned to the Amway on Saturday to face off against the Komets for the second straight night. Fort Wayne would go on to shutout the Solar Bears, as they would win 3-0, thanks in part to two second period goals from Luca Caputi. The shutout was the fourth time Orlando had been held scoreless in it’s past eight games.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” said Berehowsky after Sunday’s game. “Especially coming back. The first night we had a tough loss in the shootout, yesterday we didn’t come out and play with the same kind of energy, and structure that we wanted to.”

“Tonight they seemed to pull it together.” added Berehowsky. “They showed a lot of resilience and I’m really proud of them.”

The Solar Bears will now go on a six game road trip, before returning home on Dec. 27, for a two-game series against in-state rivals the Florida Everblades.

Despite the win on Sunday, Orlando is still in last place in the South Division, trailing the division leading Gwinnett Gladiators by 13 points in the standings. Orlando’s record for the season is now 10-11-2-2, which is good for 24 points.