Solar Bears give up five goals, drop first game of homestand


Bryce Brimhall / Valencia Voice

The Solar Bears curenttly sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with eight games left in the regular season.

Sometimes coming home isn’t always so sweet. That was the case for the Orlando Solar Bears on Wednesday as they fell to the Cincinnati Cyclones 5-1 in their return to the Amway Center after a nine-game road trip.

Solar Bears starting goalie Maxime Clermont gave up five goals in the first 35 minutes of the game, as Orlando would go on to struggle on both defense and offense throughout the game.

Cincinnati took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a goal by Barry Almeida and then scored another less than a minute later when Matt Tinordi put the puck past Clermont to extend the Cyclones lead to 2-0 with 15:58 still to play in the first period.

The Solar Bears struggled on offense during the opening period, getting outshot by the Cyclones 13-5 going into the first intermission and 23-8 during the second period.

Josh Birkholz extended the Cyclones lead to 3-0, when he scored a powerplay goal on a breakaway 6:32 into the second stanza.

Clermont gave up another two goals midway through the second period, allowing Cincinnati to extend their lead to 5-0. He was then subsequently pulled by head coach Vince Williams in favor of Cody Reichard.

Orlando finally got on the scoreboard 7:08 into the third period thanks to a powerplay goal by Mikey Lang, cutting Cincinnati’s lead to 5-1.

With the loss the Solar Bears record falls to 38-22-2-2 for the season and leaves them in fourth place in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference with 80 points. They currently sit four points behind the first place Kalamazoo Wings.

The Solar Bears return to the Amway Center Thursday night for the start of a two-game series against the Evansville IceMen. Thursday’s game will also mark the return of forward C.J. Severyn to the Solar Bears lineup after serving a ten-game suspension.

Puck-drop for Thursday is scheduled for 7 p.m.