Orlando Solar Bears squander lead, throw off home opener

ORLANDO — It’s back to business at the Amway Center for the Solar Bears.

The Orlando Solar Bears squandered their 2-0 lead, falling 4-2 against the Florida Everblades on Saturday night in their home opener, in front of 8,849 fans.

“We did some grade A mistakes. Giving away the puck and not being ready in the face-off and it’s game over,” head coach Vince Williams said after the game. “There’s a lot of work to do. We got some young guys in the lineup, and it’s a big change.”

A strong third period from the Everblades formulated into them scoring four unanswered goals, two of which were scored by Matthew Pistilli. The Montreal native tied the game 2:15 into the third period, only 27 seconds later Brandon MacLean was able to convert the game winner when his shot from outer range beat Solar Bears goaltender Christopher Gibson.

“We have to look at why we aren’t creating much offensively,” added Williams. “We got to be a little bit better, create shots. These mistakes cost us points, costs us games, but we have to be better.

“The guys were excited, came up with energy, but we need to learn not sit back and observe. They’re (Florida Everblades) are a good hockey team. We were never comfortable, we just put ourselves in a situation. We got to learn to win, but we also have to learn to lose to be a successful team.”

Despite starting the first period lacking offense power, the Solar Bears were able to find their rhythm toward the latter part of the period. Zach Harrison was able to open up the scoring at 8:19 in the first period when he blasted a shot that hit the top right corner.

Cody Wild’s goal 1:46 in the second period doubled the lead for the Solar Bears, but evidently their failure to execute on the power play, 11-consecutive of which did not create any goals, cost Vince Williams’ men to falter their lead.

The Solar Bears are back at home on Saturday, Oct. 26, when they host the Gwinnett Gladiators at the Amway Center.