Solar Bears capture victory over Gladiators 4-2, commemorate the ‘Miracle on Ice’

ORLANDO – Matthew Sisca scores two goals on the night to propel the Orlando Solar Bears pass the Gwinnett Gladiators 4-2 on Friday, Feb. 22.

Head Coach Drake Berehowsky said, “Well you know what we keep talking about resilience we keep showing them numbers you know we try to numbers and try to find out what the trends are.”

Also, tonight’s counted attendance for the game was 7,448.

Sisca scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season, which puts him third on the team scoring goals behind CJ Severyn and Ryan Cruthers.

Matthew Sisca said, “It’s a confidence booster like I said and we have a couple days off now I think we deserve it after what we did this weekend beating Gwinnett and full week of practice ahead of us and then we got first place Reading we are going to have to beat these teams to make the playoffs.”

The Solar Bears started the game strong and aggressive to get the lead, but they gave up the first goal to the Gladiators.

The goal was scored by Evan Bloodoff in the first period with 13:57 remaining in the period. It was Bloodoff’s 15th goal of the season. The goal was assisted by Ryan Donald, which was his 12th assist of the season.

Solar Bears tied the game early in the second period, when Sisca scored his 14th goal of the season thanks to a double assist from Ryan Cruthers, his 16th assist thus far and CJ Severyn’s 19th assist of the season.

“Like I said before I was proud that they showed the resilience its one of the pillars that we built this team on was resilience and character and its all over our dressing room and they showed a lot of resilience and character coming out after a deflating loss last night and coming back and winning tonight,” said Head coach Berehowsky.

Orlando broke the tie later in the second period, when Michael Wilson scored his fourth goal of the season to give the Solar Bears the lead 2-1 with 7:47 left in the period. The assists on the goal were from Scott Tanski and Michael Neal.

Gwinnett showed why they are a top team in the league by tying the game in the second period with 52.3 seconds left on a power play.

The goal was scored by Casey Pierro-Zabotel, which was his 18th goal of the season which ties him with his team mate Doug Jones for leading Gwinnett in goals scored this season. The assist was from Sacha Guimond it is his 28th assist of the season thus far.

Almost half way through the third period, Sisca found the score sheet again has he scored his 15th goal of the campaign which he was assisted by Michael Wilson who received his 24th assist as a result of the play. When the goal was scored there was 12:45 remaining in the game.

Solar Bears put them game out of reach for the Gladiators, when the captain Ryan Cruthers scored to make the score 4-2 Orlando with 2:32 left in the game. The assist on the play goes to Michael Wilson who added to his assists tally of 25 assists thus far.

It was Cruthers’ fourth season that he has scored 20 goals in the East Coast Hockey League.

This day was also special to hockey fans because if you remember Lake Placid, New York on this day 1980, which was 33 years today was when the USA beat USSR in hockey and would eventually win the gold medal. That day when a bunch of amateur and collegiate players defeated the professional Soviet team on Friday, Feb. 22, 1980. That event was recognize by people as the “Miracle on Ice.”

The Orlando Solar Bears next game is at home versus the Reading Royals on Thursday, Feb. 28.