Solar Bears struggle in third period, fall to Road Warriors


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Solar Bears forward Mike Catenacci scored his second goal in as many games during Orlando’s 3-2 loss to Greenville.

ORLANDO  — Mike Catenacci scored his second goal in as many games, but it wasn’t enough as the Orlando Solar Bears fell to the Greenville Road Warriors 3-2 on Sunday in front of an announced attendance of 6,318 at the Amway Center.

Catenacci recently joined the Solar Bears, after starting the year playing for Vipiteno in the Italian League. In his 3 games with Orlando Catenacci has tallied 3 points, via 2 goals and an assist.

“It’s definitely a lot different, the ice is bigger in Italy and you have a lot more time with the puck,” said Catenacci about his transition to the ECHL. “It’s been good. I’ve had fun here and hopefully I can continue the streak, but next time hopefully we come out with a win.”

The Solar Bears jumped out to a 1-0 lead during the final minute of the opening period when Tyler Murovich plucked a Scott Tanski pass out of mid-air and put it into the back of the net for the goal. Orlando went into the 2nd stanza leading 1-0, despite being outshot 17-12.

Catenacci extended the Solar Bears lead to 2-0 7:59 into the 2nd period, when he put an Andrew Johnson pass between the pipes for his second goal since joining Orlando.

Brayden Irwin cut Orlando’s lead to 2-1 with 2:50 remaining in the 2nd stanza, thanks to an assist from Andrew Rowe. Irwin’s goal was his 11th of the season.

Mike Marcou tied the game at 2-2- for the Road Warriors when he scored his second goal of the season with 13:17 remaining in the 3rd period.

Greenville would go on to take a 3-2 lead with 3:11 remaining in regulation time when Andrew Rowe scored his sixth goal of the season, thanks to an assist from Irwin.

“It wasn’t anything that they did,” said Solar Bears head coach Vince Williams about the 3rd period. “We just stopped skating on 3 of them.”

Orlando had a 2-1 lead going into the 3rd period, but a poor offensive performance, which saw the Solar Bears take only 4 shots on net, clinched Orlando’s 6th home loss of the season.

“We just didn’t manage the puck well and again we didn’t play smart in the 3rd period.” said Williams following the game. “We have to be able to just make smarter plays.”

The Solar Bears will go into the holiday break with a 15-11-0-1 record and currently sit in 6th place in the Eastern Conference with 31 points.

Orlando’s next game will be on Saturday, Dec. 28 against the in-state rival Florida Everblades. The game against the Everblades will be the first of three Solar Bears games that will be televised on WKMG Local 6.

Puck-drop is set for 7:00 p.m. for Saturday’s televised game against Florida.