Solar Bears thrash Icemen 6-1

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Courtesy of Orlando Solar Bears

C.J. Severyn helped score the Solar Bears one of the six goals on the Icemen.

ORLANDO – Derrick Burnett scored his first professional goal as the Orlando Solar Bears defeated the Evansville Icemen 6-1 on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in front of an announced attendance of 4,876 at the Amway Center.

“It definitely feels good,” said Burnett on getting his first professional goal. “It gets the monkey off my back, I know I’ve had some chances in recent games here, it finally feels good to bury one.”

Goalie Zoltan Hetenyi helped Orlando in the win by saving 35 of 36 shots for the Solar Bears.

“They were very happy,” said Hetenyi on how his teammates treated him after his first win with the team. “Everybody gave me a high-five. It’s a really good start, it’s always important when you play your first game on a new team to show a good impression and play good.”

Ryan Cruthers got the Solar Bears on the scoreboard first when he deflected a Mathew Sisca shot into the net, past Icemen goalie Paul Dainton giving Orlando a 1-0 lead with 14 minutes left to play in the first period.

Then the Solar Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead with 2:41 remaining in the opening period, when Michael Neal scored a one-timer goal thanks to a pass from C.J. Severyn.

Burnett gave the Solar Bears a 3-0 lead when he scored his first goal as a pro on a wrist shot from the right side with 12:46 left to play in the second period.

“He comes in, he works hard, he does the job,” said Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky of Burnett. “He’s a solid player, listens to instructions well. He’s a very ‘coachable’ guy.”

Evansville cut Orlando’s lead to 3-1 when Andre Bouvet-Morrissette scored his first goal of the season with 6:05 remaining in the second stanza.

Cruthers added his second goal of the game to give the Solar Bears a 4-1 lead with 2:58 left in the period.

“Ryan played a great game today,” said Berehowsky about his captain. “He got pucks in deep, he didn’t turn pucks over at the line and then Sevey [Severyn] was skating real well.”

Justin Levac gave Orlando a 5-1 lead a little over three minutes into the third quarter when he scored his first goal as a Solar Bear on a Scott Tanski assist. Severyn added another goal for Orlando with just over three minutes remaining in the game to give the Solar Bears a 6-1 lead.

“Tonight we came out and we put in a couple goals,” said Berehowsky. “And we just seemed to keep rolling and we caught wind.”

With the win Orlando’s record improves to 24-25-2-3 for the season with 17 games left to play. The Solar Bears now sit seven points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

“Tonight they showed great discipline,” said Berehowsky after the game. “Everybody was positive and we came out and we didn’t put ourselves in penalty trouble.”

Orlando’s next game will be Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m. against the Gwinnett Gladiators at the Amway Center.

“All these games are real exciting,” said Burnett of the late playoff push. “We’ve kind of got the playoff atmosphere already because we’re right in the hunt, just out of it right now, so I know all the games matter, so it’s pretty special to be a part of a team that’s trying to make a playoff run here and every game’s important.”