Sports Editor

ECHL:  Jacksonville Icemen v Orlando Solar Bears

Veteran defenseman Mike Monfredo was named the Orlando Solar Bears' sixth captain in its ECHL history earlier this week.

The weather just got chilly.

Good, means a perfect time to head out to the rink for some hockey action.

The Orlando Solar Bears are in full swing of their ECHL season, their first as an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and they’re wearing the arrangement well.

The Solar Bears sit at 10-8-2, tied for fourth in a ringer of a South Division that sees five of seven teams with winning records.

The team is off a split of a two-game series with the Norfolk Admirals last weekend at the Amway Center.

Brady Shaw’s overtime tally gave Orlando a 6-5 overtime win on Saturday, when Norfolk (12-7-2) rallied twice from three-goal deficits. Norfolk claimed a 4-3 victory on Sunday.

“I thought we came out and we had a strong start but we took our foot off the gas,” Coach Drake Berehowsky said. “That’s something that we have to work on – our consistency. It’s tough when you get a whole bunch of shots and you come away short, down goals. We have to learn to battle through that.”

The Solar Bears host the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. After a quick trip to Jacksonville to play the Icemen on Wednesday, the team will give fans a pre-holiday hockey bonanza, with games on 16th and 17th against the Atlanta Gladiators and South Carolina Stingrays and the 20th and 21st against the rival Florida Everblades. Each game is a key South Division matchup.

Three players have been averaging over a point per game for the team: forwards Shaw (12 goals and nine assists in 20 games), Brent Pedersen (6-14—20 in 19) and Troy Bourke (4-12—16 in 11).

An injury to Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, creating a domino effect through the organization. Orlando No. 1 goalie Maxime Oullette was called up to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, leaving Corbin Boes (3-3-1) and hunter Stewart (1-2) to keep things clean in the net.

This week the Solar Bears announced that veteran defenseman Mike Monfredo has been named team captain for the 2018-19 season, the sixth player in team history to be named to the captaincy on a full-time basis. Veteran forward Curt Gogol and Shaw will serve as alternate captains, while Bourke will serve as a third alternate as needed.

“Mike is a core piece of this team. He’s someone who primarily leads by example, but when he speaks in the locker room, he commands everybody’s full attention,” Berehowsky said. “He’s an excellent ambassador for our team, and someone we’re proud to select as our captain.”

Monfredo, has recorded eight points and 40 penalty minutes in 20 games this season, his second with Orlando.

“It’s an honor to be named captain,” Monfredo, a seven-year pro, said. “We’ve got a great group of players in our locker room this season, and we’ve got what it takes to contend for a championship.”