Solar Bears shutout Royals 1-0

ORLANDO – Zoltan Hetenyi saved 29 out of 29 shots as the Orlando Solar Bears defeated the Reading Royals 1-0 on Thursday, Feb. 28 in front of 6,840 fans at the Amway Center.

The shutout by Hetenyi was the first for the Solar Bears since joining the ECHL earlier this season.

“I didn’t know that,” said Hetenyi when asked about getting the first ECHL Solar Bears shutout. “That’s an honor then. Then it’s my best day in this year, there’s no doubt about that. I’m really glad for this.”

In his three starts with Orlando, Hetenyi is 2-1 while allowing four goals.

“It’s fantastic,” said Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky about Hetenyi getting a shutout. “We’re glad to have him. Coming from the Nashville organization you know he’s going to be a quality goalie.”

Reading came into Orlando on Thursday in sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference.

C.J. Severyn gave the Solar Bears a 1-0 lead when he scored on a one-timer, thanks to a pass in front of the crease from Corbin Baldwin with 11:04 remaining in the first period.

Severyn’s goal came a few minutes after he took a skate to the visor, which kept him down on the ice for a short amount of time.

“I caught his toe right by my eye,” said Severyn about the play that he was nearly injured on. “And I just laid on the ice not really hurt, but I was just thinking in my head before I felt my face with my hand ‘please I hope I don’t see blood,’ because I knew a skate caught me in the face, but luckily I had a visor on.”

“He battles all the time,” said Berehowsky when talking about Severyn. “He comes back and that’s what hockey players do, they battle through things and I don’t know what it is about hockey players but it seems like they always play hurt and they battle through it because they love the game, they love to compete.”

Orlando went into the second period leading the Royals 1-0, despite being outshot by Reading 13-10.

“He deserves a lot of credit tonight,” said Berehowsky of Hetenyi. “He battled hard for that win, we gave up too many opportunities from inside the house and he kept us in there and he deserves that shutout tonight.”

After a scoreless second period which saw the Royals take two more shots than the Solar Bears, Orlando went into the final period holding on to a 1-0 lead.

Neither team would score during the final period of play, but the Solar Bears managed to outshoot the Royals 10-4 during the third stanza.

“Everybody was very happy,” said Hetenyi about the mood in the locker room after the game. “I think we have good chemistry, everybody wants to make the playoffs, and I think we’re going to be the team who’s never going to give up.”

With the win Orlando’s record improved to 26-27-2-3. The win also moves the Solar Bears into 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings, nine points back of the eighth and final playoff spot which is currently held by the South Carolina Stingrays.

The Solar Bears return home on Saturday to play the second game of a two-game series against the Reading Royals at 7:00 p.m. at the Amway Center.

Prior to Saturday’s game, the team will be holding the “Be Great Classic For Kids” which will feature head coach Drake Berehowsky and NHL hall of famer Bryan Trottier. The “Be Great Classic” will start at 4:00 p.m.