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Solar Bears fall in OT to Florida, still up 2-1 in playoff series

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 10:53 am

By Ken Jackson
Staff Writer

The Florida Everblades netted power play goals in the third period and in overtime to take Game 3 of the ECHL Divisional Semifinals, 5-4, over the Orlando Solar Bears Thursday at the Amway Center.

Matt Berry’s game-winner 12 minutes into extra time, his fourth goal of the playoffs, kept Florida away from the brink of elimination. Orlando still leads the best-of-7 series 2-1 with Game 4 coming Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Solar Bears twice dug out of deficits — Denver Manderson and Eric Faille scored 28 seconds apart early in the third quarter — but could not clinch the 3-0 series lead.

Florida dug the hosts into a 2-0 hole just 5:36 into the game on goals by Brendan O’Donnell and Mitchell Heard. But instead of hibernating and playing for Saturday’s Game 3, the Bears clawed back. Denver Manderson stuffed home a pass from Shane Conacher two minutes after Heard’s tally, and just 39 seconds into the second period Manderson found a streaking Mason Marchment, who tied it with a breakaway goal.

Orlando looked to have an upper hand when going on a power play three minutes later, but instead the Everblades took the advantage, with Mike Ferentino hustling up ice in transition and scoring a shorthanded goal.

The last Solar Bears playoff game at the Amway Center before Thursday — April 25, 2015, was also a 5-4 Everblades victory.