Solars Bears defeat Titans, unveil 2001 Turner Cup banner

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Courtesy of Orlando Solar Bears

Ryan Blair scored the game winning goal as the Solar Bears defeated the Trenton Titans 6-4 in honorable fashion as they unveiled their 2001 championship banner.

ORLANDO – C.J. Severyn scored a goal and added three assists as the Orlando Solar Bears defeated the Trenton Titans 6-4 on Saturday, Jan. 2 in front of 8,650 fans at the Amway Center.

“C.J.’s progressing nicely,” said Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky. “He’s going to surpass any bars that we’ve set on him.”

Wearing their vintage 2001 IHL jerseys, the Solar Bears jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Mathew Sisca scored his 12th goal of the season 1:04 after the puck dropped.

Trenton tied the game at 1-1 on a goal by Kevin Baker with 15:27 remaining in the first period. J.S. Berube gave the Titans a 2-1 lead with 12 minutes left in the opening period thanks to an assist by Derrick Pallis.

Orlando entered the second period trailing 2-1 until Ryan Ginand tied the game at 2-2 with a one-timer off a pass from Michael Neal with 16:52 left in the second period.

The Titans reclaimed the lead when Mike Ullrich scored his sixth goal of the season with 10:15 left to play in the second period, making the score 3-2 in favor of Trenton.

The Solar Bears tied the game at 3-3 with 1:30 left in the second stanza, when Chris Lawrence scored his fifth goal of the season thanks to an assist by Dale Mahovsky.

“The last couple minutes were big for us,” said Blair on the final moments of the second period. “Then it carries into the third period and came out strong and had a big penalty kill.”

Kory Nagy put the Titans back ahead of the Solar Bears with his fourth goal of the season early in the third period, but the Trenton lead didn’t last long as center C.J. Severyn tied the game for Orlando midway through the third period, when he scored his 14th goal of the season on a Rob Mignardi assist.

“The crowd was tremendous for us,” said Severyn after the game. “It’s great and when the fans are into it, it makes it easy to play.”

The Solar Bears took a 5-4 lead with 6:23 remaining in the final period, when Ryan Blair scored what was the game-winning goal on a breakaway moments after leaving the penalty box.

“It was a fortunate play,” said Blair about his game-winning goal. “It went off the goalie and then off their guy and found its way into the back of the net.”

Ryan Cruthers added an insurance goal for Orlando with 34 seconds remaining in the game. The Cruthers goal was assisted by Severyn.

“That was huge,” said Blair of the Cruthers insurance goal. “Sealed the deal there with about a minute left. It’s always good to get that goal, it feels good and lets everyone relax and know that we won the game.”

With the win over Trenton, the Solar Bears improve their record to 21-22-2-3. Orlando now sits 11th in the Eastern Conference with 47 points.

“We had three games at home this weekend and we grabbed five points,” said Severyn about the homestand. “It’s definitely a good feeling getting able to jump up there in the standings a little bit.”

Saturday night’s win came on the same night that the Solar Bears were unveiling their banner for the 2001 Turner Cup Championship team.

Orlando’s next game is Feb. 7, at 7:00 p.m. against the sixth place Florida Everblades at home.