Solar Bears fall short against Road Warriors 5-4 in shootout loss

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Courtesy Orlando Solar Bears

A three point night from Beattie helps Orlando Earn a Point in 5-4 Shootout Loss.

ORLANDO – Olivier Fortier had two goals on five shots but it wasn’t enough as the Solar Bears were defeated by the Greenville Road Warriors in a shootout, 5-4 on March, 21 in front of 5,656 fans at the Amway Center.

Marc-Olivier Vallerand put the Road Warriors on the scoreboard first when he scored his 21st goal of the season with 7:44 remaining in the first period, giving Greenville an early 1-0 lead.

The Solar Bears tied it at 1-1 when Fortier scored his first goal since returning to Orlando from his call-up to the American Hockey League with 25 seconds left to play in the opening period.

“It felt unreal,” said Fortier about how it felt to get a goal early in his return to Orlando. “It felt good because I haven’t scored in probably 20 games.”

Fortier gave the Solar Bears a 2-0 lead when he scored his second goal of the game on a shorthanded breakaway with 12:10 left to play in the second period.

“Forts is awesome,” said Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky about Fortier’s return to the team. “He brings speed, he brings character. He’s a welcome addition for our team and as a coach you love it when a player like that is on your side.”

Jordie Johnston tied the game at 2-2 for the Road Warriors when he scored his 21st goal of the season with 6:06 left in the second stanza.

Mark Nemec gave Orlando a 3-2 lead 16 seconds after Greenville had tied the game, when he scored his first professional goal.

“He’s a steady defenseman,” said Berehowsky of Nemec after the game. “He’s hungry to get to the next level and he wants to learn.”

Johnston tied the game again, this time at 3-3 when he scored an unassisted goal off of the faceoff with 1:57 remaining in the second period.

Vallerand gave the Road Warriors a 4-3 lead when he scored on a wrist shot from the right side with 7:12 remaining in the game.

Alian Goulet tied the game for the Solar Bears with 55 seconds left to play in regulation time, Kyle Beattie had the assist on the goal, giving him three for the game.

“We always knew we had a chance to win,” said Beattie about the atmosphere on the bench when Orlando tied the game at 4-4. “It was a kind of back and forth game, they kept going ahead and we kept coming back.”

After a scoreless five minutes of overtime, the two teams went to a shootout to decide the winner.

In the shootout Johnston scored on Greenville’s first shootout attempt followed by Brendan Connolly putting in the Road Warriors third attempt. The Solar Bears were held scoreless during four shootout attempts.

With the loss Orlando’s record fell to 26-33-3-4 for the season with five games remaining.

The Solar Bear next game is against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Sunday, March 24, which will also be Fan Appreciation Day.