Solar Bears fall in shootout after shutting out Reading Royals

The Orlando Solar Bears fell to the Reading Royals 1-0 on Saturday night after losing 3-1 in the shootout. The Solar Bears lost the game despite having more shots on goal than the Royals, 37-32.

Both goalies held their opponents goal-less through three periods of play and the five-minute sudden death overtime period.

“It was a good hockey game,” said Solar Bears head coach Vince Williams. “I thought in the first period we were getting into a little run and gun game, which wasn’t what we wanted. We had our chances to score. Both goalies played their all and it was a good hockey game; it’s as close as you’re going to get from a playoff game.”

The Royals came into the game as the top-ranked team in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference, while the Solar Bears are fourth in the conference.

While the Royals have locked up the top seed in the playoffs, the Solar Bears are fighting for playoff seeding, which could give them home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Solar Bears are all but likely to face the Cincinnati Cyclones in the first round of the playoffs, but the home-ice advantage will likely be determined on the final regular season day on Sunday.

“We have to be strong for tomorrow, it’s a huge game,” said Williams. “I know Cincinnati was down, but we still need a point. You can’t control what you can’t control; you can only control what you can control.”

Despite the Solar Bears not scoring a goal in regulation play, goalie Maxime Clermont isn’t concerned about his team’s inability to score goals so close to the playoffs.

“The playoffs are always tight games,” said Clermont. “It’s going to be either 1-0, 3-1 or 4-3 so I’m not really concerned about it. We have so much depth that every line can score a goal. I know the goals are going to come because the guys are playing so well.”

The Solar Bears finish up their regular season on Sunday against the Greenville Road Warriors at 3 p.m. The first-round of the playoffs are scheduled to start on Thursday.