Solar Bears’ Petersen scores 3 in 5-3 victory over Stingrays

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Orlando Solar Bears

Nick Petersen became the first Solar Bear to score a hat trick in Thursday night's game against the Stingrays.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Nick Petersen scored three goals, which made him the first Solar Bear to notch a hat trick as Orlando defeated the South Carolina Stingrays 5-3 Thursday night at the Amway Center in division play.

Petersen scored Orlando’s third goal of the night assisted by Michael Wilson and Matthew Sisca, 12 minutes into the first period and the fourth goal unassisted on a five-on-four power play with 12:50 in the second period.

“It was pretty cool and a great feeling,” said Solar Bears forward Petersen. “I just took a couple of shots, put the puck up, and good things happened.”

Petersen went on to score Orlando’s final goal 4:20 into the third period, assisted by Ryan Cruthers and Ryan Ginand. This concluded Orlando’s first hat trick as the Solar Bears earned their third victory of the season and second division win.

The Solar Bears had a total of 40 shots on goal, compared to South Carolina’s 30, controlling the momentum offensively.

“I think we’re working hard for them, and playing within our structure,” said Orlando head coach Drake Berehowsky.

Orlando scored two goals early in the game capitalizing on two of the team’s four power plays. The first goal was on a five-to-three Solar Bears advantage, as well as the five-to-four play as the goals were scored a minute apart from each other.

“To get a lot of shots, and be hungry on the smaller goalie, and we exposed that tonight by shooting a lot,” said Petersen.

Along with Orlando taking care of their power plays, Coach Berehowsky stressed areas of work that needed change.

“We’ll make adjustments,” said Berehowsky. “Anytime you can practice it, and kinda tweak it in little tiny areas helps.”

Orlando’s other two goals were scored by Ryan Cruthers, assisted by Matthew Sisca; Ryan Ginand; and Olivier Fortier, which was on the second power play, assisted by Sean Lorenz and Michael Wilson.

Nick Petersen climbed to the number one spot in the league in points as teammate Matthew Sisca trailed in third.

South Carolina’s three goals came in the first and third period, scored by Shawn Weller twice and once by Tyler McNeely.

Orlando will face off in their next game against the Greenville Road Warriors at home Oct. 28, this Sunday afternoon.

“No matter what the score is, no matter how many fans in the stands we want to be the type of team that you know what’s going on in the game,” said Berehowsky.

“We just want to keep coming out to you the same way just keep building.”