Orlando, FL- The Orlando Solar Bears partnered with the Guinness World Records to try and break the record for the largest gathering of people wearing tie-dye. To be counted, fans had to wear two or more tie-dye pieces. However, as it was getting closer to game time, fans left the attempt area, ultimately not setting the world record.
It was an excellent instate rivalry for the ages in front of the largest Solar Bears crowd in franchise history (11,382). Due to the attempted world record puck drop was delayed 20 minutes, and the Everblades coming out strong before the first media timeout, had most of the possession in the first few moments. The Solar Bears re-grouped and took all the energy getting seven shots in the next few minutes. Orlando finally got rewarded when Tristan Langan got a rebound at the front of the goalmouth sending the Amway Center into a frenzy. Tyler Bird and Brayden Guy picked up the helpers on the goal with 6:26 remaining in the first. Florida got their best chance when the offense had a power play late in the first, taking a shot from the right circle. Ultimately, Jack LaFontaine got the save to keep the Bears in front heading into the locker room.
Going into the middle frame, the Solar Bears had a chance to gain their advantage when they started the frame with 40 seconds left of 5v3 PP time. Florida killed it off, and it was Cam Darcy shortly after keeping the puck from exiting the offensive zone taking it to the right slot, and tying the game 1-1 early in the 2nd. The game stayed level for a while until right past the halfway mark of the period when right after a Bears penalty was killed, Florida kept the momentum, and it was Levko Koper getting his 8th of the year on a scramble around the net, giving the Everblades their first lead of the night 2-1. It didn’t take long for the Solar Bears to respond as Hunter Fejes passed it to the slot where Tristan Langan made no mistake, putting it past Cam Johnson to tie the game up 2-2 at the 12:34 mark of the middle frame.
A couple of minutes later, it was Joe Carroll getting a questionable interference penalty, putting the Everblades on the man advantage. They wasted no time getting the puck into the goal as Blake Winiecki gave Florida the lead of 3-2. In a surprising turn of events, after allowing three goals on 29 shots, Orlando Head Coach Matt Carkner decided to swap goaltenders and rely on Garret Sparks for the remainder of the game. There is a saying, “if you can do it, then I can do it also or better” The Solar Bears did exactly that getting a power play of their own as it was Shawn Szydlowski getting a shot from the right circle sniping it home on the power play goal with 1:32 left in the middle frame making the game 3-3.
The 3rd period didn’t have as many goals as the middle frame, but it gave us lots of action. It was a relatively slow third period until the Florida Everblades started to buzz, and it was Joe Pendenza giving the Everblades a late 4-3 lead with 7:32 left. With about 5 minutes left in the 3rd and the game coming down to the wire, an Everblade player made a very risky decision and cross-checked Solar Bears forward Luka Boka right into the post, in what should have been at least a 2 min penalty for cross-checking the Amway Center capacity crowd let the ref hear it by shouting at the ref for 30-45 seconds following the play. The Solar Bears responded to that no-call as it was Szydlowski getting the perfect angle shot in a goalmouth scramble tying the game with 4:47 left and sending the crowd into a very loud frenzy. Florida argued for goalie interference, and after a 2 min review, the call on the ice stood 4-4
Both teams had a late power play, but neither team could convert as this instate rivalry game went to overtime. A minute into the extra frame Joe Carroll took a shot from the slot, hitting the post. With 2:50 left in overtime, Brad Morrison took the puck at center ice and bobbled it at chest level with his stick in what looked like a scene from the Mighty Ducks movie, ultimately getting a shot that was saved by Sparks. With 1:50 left in the extra game, Carroll got a chance and made no mistake sniping it past Johnson to give the Bears a 5-4 Overtime Win.
Final Stats: SOG 42-58 Orlando, FL was 1/6 on the PP, and ORL was 1/5
3 Stars of the game: 3rd star: Shawn Szydlowski (ORL)(2G,1), 2nd Star: Joe Carroll (ORL)(1G), 1st Star: Tristan Langan (ORL)(2G,1A)
Next up: 2 games in Estero, Florida, against the Everblades on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm EST
One thought on “Solar Bears Attempt Guinness World Record in Rivalry Match against Florida”
sadly whomever was trying to get the record really messed up. they broke the record but timing is everything. my girlfriend and her friend were number 1859 and 1860. but because people left they didnt call it a record. sad because they had it. they need to plan better.