ECHL: Orlando Solar Bears and Maine Mariners Battle in First Meeting of the Year

The Maine Mariners and the Orlando Solar Bears battled each other on Wednesday Night as both squads looked to get back to their winning ways as the Bears got swept by the Idaho Steelheads last week, and the Mariners have lost five of their previous six games.

First Period

The Mariners opened the game with a ton of pressure, getting multiple good looks early. The Mariners had a 3-on-1 chance a couple of minutes into the opening frame as Jack LaFontaine looked sharp early to keep the Mariners off the board.

The Mariners had a chance with about 15 minutes left as they hit the post. The first media timeout came and went, and it looked like the momentum shifted to Orlando as Tyler Bird stole the puck in the slot and shot the puck that Michael Dipietro saved; following the big save, Maine took the puck down the ice as Reid Stefanson who fed the puck cross-ice to Fedor Gordeev who shot the puck through traffic past Lafontaine to put the Mariners up by a goal with 10:31 left in the opening frame.

The Solar Bears got their best chance of the Period when Max Balinson fed the puck to Tristan Langan, ultimately getting stopped by Dipietro. The Mariners got a couple of good looks to extend the lead as with 5:40 left, the Maine player found the puck and missed the mostly open net; 15 seconds later, it was Chase Zieky and Nick Master getting back-to-back shots saved by LaFontaine. Both teams got some good looks as the Period came closer to the end as it was the goaltenders up to the task to keep the game 1-0 Maine

2nd Period

The Mariners extended their lead early into the middle frame as it was a scramble around the net as Alex-Oliver Voyer got his 17th of the season on a snapshot from the slot. Four minutes later, Carter Johnson fed Alex Kile, who sniped it past LaFontaine for his 200th career point, extending the Mariners’ lead to three with 14:12 left in the second.

The Mariners got the game’s first power play, as it was Brayden Guy checking Connor Doherty into the board. The Mariners had a few good looks on the man advantage, but it was LaFontaine to the test. With 10:20 to go, there was a scramble around the net as LaFontaine kicked the puck off the goal line. In a fast-paced second period, the Solar Bears finally found the back of the net as it was Luke McInnis feeding the puck to Lanagn, who sniped it past Dipietro for his 20th of the year. The Solar Bears continued the pressure as with 3:18 to go; it was Tyler Bird, and Matthew Barnaby combined for a couple of good whacks at the Maine net. The pressure resulted in the Solar Bears getting a late power-play that extended into the final 20 minutes

3rd Period

The Solar Bears opened the final 20 minutes by starting strong for the first minute; it was Ross Olsson behind the play getting a costly roughing penalty at 1:01. Nick Master then got a pass from Mitchell Fossier and sniped it home to extend Maine’s lead to 4-1 with 17:42 to play in the game. The Mariners attempted to get extra insurance as they got a breakaway that LaFontaine ultimately saved. Again, off the faceoff, it was LaFontaine covering the puck right at the goal line.

The Mariners got some insurance as it was Master redirecting a Fossier shot on the power-play, increasing the lead to four. The game slowed down as the Mariners defeated the Solar Bears 5-1. The Mariners improve to 34-23-2-1, good for 71 points, with 12 games left, as Orlando drops to 29-27-7-1, good for 66 points, with just eight games left in the regular season.

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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