Solar Bears fall to Road Warriors to open up homestand

The Orlando Solar Bears lose their third game in a row and continue their 6-game winless streak as they lose to the Greenville Road Warriors 5-3 Saturday night, November 8, on their home ice in the Amway Center.

With starting goaltender Garrett Sparks, who lead the league in goals allowed average for goalies who have played more than 60 minutes at 1.66, out with a lower body injury as of Oct. 26, Orlando started Kent Patterson, who would allow 18 goals in his six game stint under the net earning him a 3.23 goals allowed average.

With that many goals allowed, Orlando needed to try a new goaltender to help them earn their first win in five games. Hoping to be that missing piece between the pipes was Maxime Clermont, who returned from playing with the Solar Bears last season, then was traded up to the Albany devils, appeared for the first time this season after being assigned to Orlando by Albany’s parent organization, the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday. Clermont would end the game allowing five goals.

“It was his first game, he made some saves, and I’m sure theres a few he’d like to add back.” said head coach Vince Williams about Clermont’s

The game took a slow start with both teams showing a promising defense allowing only one goal between the both of them while Orlando out shot Greenville 10-8 in the first period.

After two shots on goal, by Blake Kessel and Mickey Lang, are both saved by Missiaen, Greg Miller is able to flick one in the net just behind the goaltender with the primary assist by Kessel 6:54 minutes into the first period to give Orlando an early 1-0 lead that would go unanswered in the first period.

Fresh off the bench, Greenville was able to score two goals in three shots in only 35 seconds within the first two minutes of play in the second period, one at 1:02 by left wing Kyle Jean and one at 1:37 by center Tyler Brown bringing Greenville up 2-1.

Orlando was not able to make on shot on the goal until six minutes and 15 seconds into the period and was only able to make a total of 6 shots throughout the period while Greenville made a total of 13 shots on goal in the period.

“For the first seven minutes we were on our heels, and it stemmed from managing the puck, we were taking the puck were moving it back but we weren’t moving quick and it allowed them to get into a forward track and when that happens we just couldn’t get it together.” said Williams on the lack of shots in the second period. “We came out, we battled at times, but it’s not good enough”

With 7:55 left in the second period, the first penalty of the game, a delay of game, is called on Greenville earning Orlando a power play but they were unable to make anything of it and failed to score.

A cross check penalty gave Orlando yet another power play opportunity with just four seconds remaining in the second period but the penalty was carried over into the third as Brock Montgomery scored Orlando on their first shot attempt one minute and one second into the third period to tie the game at 2-2.

Orlando is currently last in the league in power play percentage at 5.6 percent only scoring 2 goals in 36 power play attempts.

“It’s getting better, its been better the last few games, we had more chances, more shots, its alot better than it was a week ago, we just have to keep working at it and keep the units going” said Williams on the teams poor power play performance.

Left wing Emerson Clark would answer with a goal for Greenville three minutes and 15 seconds into the third period to bring them up 3-2.

Orlando looked like it could make a come back when a shot was deflected into the net by Miller, earning him his second of the night and tying the game at 3-3 with just under ten minutes of play left in the game. But the Solar Bears fell apart as Greenville is able to score three unanswered goals within the last 8 minutes of play to close out the game over Orlando 6-3.

“It’s frustrating because every time we did something really well, we would give up something, a grade ‘A’ chance that would end up turning into the back of the net.” said Williams about the teams performance as a whole. “A lot of the mistakes were glaring mistakes, whether through execution or a turnover in a bad area that we have to manage.”

The Solar Bears return to the rink and hope to end their 6-game losing streak, Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. for their second game of the series against Greenville  at the Amway Center.