ECHL: Orlando Solar Bears Announce Playoff Roster

Orlando Solar Bears/ECHL

The Orlando Solar Bears have announced their playoff roster for the upcoming 2024 Kelly Cup Playoff Run as they get ready to battle the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in the first round. In the ECHL, you may have a 20-man active roster and a four-man reserve list, which must include 17 active or available skaters, aka not injured or recalled to affiliates, as well as two goaltenders. If players are eligible for the playoffs, they will be placed on the playoff-eligible list, which may only list players who are not with the team due to being in the NHL/AHL.

On the Bears roster, there will be 12 forwards, seven defensemen, and two goalies on the playoff roster, while five players will be on the playoff-eligible list. Let’s break the 24 players down below:

GOALTENDERS

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Francis Boisvert is going to serve as the backup goaltender throughout the playoffs, as he has no professional experience. He was signed out of Robert Morris University, playing 13 games, with a 3.13 goals against average and a .926 save percentage, with one shutout. Barring an injury, it is unlikely we will see Boisvert in goal for Orlando.

The second goalie on the roster is Evan Fitzpatrick, who is on an AHL contract with the Syracuse Crunch, was outstanding in the homestretch; this season, he played 24 games, earning a very respectable 2.48 GAA and a .915 save percentage, along with two shutouts, including one of those in game 72 of 72 against Reading to help the Solar Bears clinch the playoffs. Against Greenville this season, Fitzpatrick went 3-1, with that loss coming on March 6, 2024, when he had 11 saves on just 13 shots in a 2-1 loss. With Halverson called up and in a must-win series April 4-6, Fitzpatrick was called upon to start all three games in three nights. In that series, Orlando swept Greenville, which helped Orlando control their own destiny a week later. In the first game, Fitzpatrick was 18/19, the next night it was 31/32 on a penalty filled night, and in the series closer, Fitzpatrick had 46 saves on 48 shots. Based on how well Fitzpatrick played against Greenville, he will be a huge impact on this seven-game-series.

Not on the playoff roster, but on the playoff-eligible list is Brandon Halverson, who is currently recalled to the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch. In the AHL, Halverson has played 11 games with the Crunch; in those 11 games, Halverson has a 2.27 GAA, going with a .915 save percentage, as well as a shutout, which came in his first stint in the AHL on November 24, against the Utica Comets, where he saved all 26 shots. Last weekend, Halverson played two games against the Toronto Marlies, saving 40 of the 41 shots he faced.

During his time with Orlando this season, he has played 32 games with a 2.82 GAA while averaging a .913 save percentage with one shutout this season with the Bears. Should the Syracuse Crunch be knocked out of the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs while the Solar Bears are still battling, it is very likely he will be sent back down to help relieve Fitzpatrick with an experienced goaltender.

DEFENSEMEN

Ben Carroll, Chase Carter, Marc-Andre Gaudet, Kurt Gosselin, Zachary Massicotte, Jimmy Mazza, and Avery Winslow. Mazza was one of the biggest players on the Bears blue line this season, playing 69 games while grabbing 24 points (7G,17A). Carter, Gaudet, and Winslow are all rookies, while Winslow will start the playoffs on the reserve list. The Solar Bears have a defense in which they have proven to clear the puck when needed, along with helping their goaltender out, especially in big games and moments. They also have two defensemen on the playoff-eligible list but have been recalled to other teams… Jeremie Biakabutuka is currently a rookie with the Springfield Thunderbirds, so it is possible he will get sent back down after the Thunderbird’s season has concluded. This season, he has 18 points in 63 AHL games, along with one game played in the AHL. Chris Harpur is also up in the AHL with the Crunch on a PTO contract. This season in the AHL, he has played 14 games, tallying three assists. While he has been with the Bears, he has played 28 games, getting three goals and six assists for nine points

FORWARDS

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The Forwards on the Solar Bears are made up of three veterans… Darik Angeli, Tyler Bird, and Brayden Low. Those three guys are pretty special when it comes to scoring and the impact they make on the ice. The other forwards are Kelly Bent, Luke Boka, Jaydon Dureau, Alex Frye, Jesse Jacques, Spencer Kersten, Kevin Lombardi, Aaron Luchuk, and Tanner Schachle. This is a very dangerous squad that played their hearts out in the final few games of the season, which included Frye’s game-winner on April 13 against Reading. Low (23G,26A) and Luchuk (22g,27a) both have 49 points this season to lead the Bears. The forwards not on the roster but on the Eligible list are Tanner Dickinson and Mitchell Hoelscher.

This is a roster that has proven that they can beat the Swamp Rabbits. We’ll have the full series breakdown in my preview article.

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Elijah Webb

I am Elijah. Hockey is my biggest passion, however I have love for all sports. I got into hockey from day one of my life. I currently am the writer for the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, and one day, I hope to become a broadcaster

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