Solar Bears move into 4th place tie


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Scott Tanski scored two goals, including the game-winner during the Solar Bears 3-2 win over the Everblades on Sunday.

Scott Tanski scored two goals, including the game-winner, as the Orlando Solar Bears defeated the cross-state rival Florida Everblades 3-2 on Sunday afternoon in front of an announced attendance of 8,061 at the Amway Center.

Tanksi’s two goal game came when the Solar Bears needed it most, as Orlando was without forwards Ian Slater and Trevor Gillies.

“Anything I can do to help the team get the two points,” said Tanski after the game. “Those guys are irreplaceable in our dressing room and when two big impact guys like that are gone, everybody’s got to step their game up”

The opening period of the game saw only 12 total shots on net, but things got heated as time expired when Tasnki got into a tussle with Braden Birch to end the period.

“I felt like it gave me a boost,” said Tanski about the first period fight with Birch. “It got me into the game, I felt the blood pumping, it got everything going.”

The Everblades opened up the scoring in the second period, after an uneventful opening stanza, when Rocco Carzo scored his 8th goal of the season thanks to an assist from Trevor Bruess and Beau Schmitz.

Orlando later tied the game at 1-1 midway through the second period when Bryce Aneloski put the puck in the back of the net for his 3rd goal of the season.

Florida regained the lead in the final minutes of the second stanza when Philip-Michael Devos put one past Orlando goalie Christopher Gibson, but the lead wouldn’t last long as the Solar Bears evened the score a minute and a half later thanks to a goal from Tanski.

Orlando went into the final period with the score tied at 2-2, while being outshot by Florida 23-16 through the first two stanzas. The Everblades were able to outshoot the Solar Bears 17-10 during the second period.

Tanski would go on to put the Solar Bears in the lead midway through the third period, when he scored his 2nd goal of the game, giving Orlando a 3-2 lead.

Gibson would come up with some big saves during the final half of the third period, helping secure the 3-2 win.

“He looked more confident,” said Solar Bears head coach Vince Williams about his starting goalie. “He was engaged more.”

Gibson finished the game with 35 saves on 37 shots, while earning his 7th win of the season.

The win improves Orlando’s record to 22-13-1-2 with 47 pts, while evening up the season series against Florida at 6-6. With the two points from the win the Solar Bears move into a 4th place tie with the Everblades and Reading Royals in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference.

“I thought it was a good game, a lot of guys stepped up.” said Williams following the win. “Gibson had a real solid game, bounced back pretty good after the last couple of games.”

Orlando will now travel to South Carolina for a game against the Stingrays on Tuesday, Jan. 28, which will be the start of a five-game road trip for the Solar Bears.