Forward J.T. Barnett scored twice in the first period to lead the Solar Bears to a 4-1 win over the Gwinnett Gladiators at the Amway Center on Thursday night.
Just 2:58 into the first period, Gwinnett grabbed the lead. A pass from the left corner from F Dirk Southern found F Marshall Everson in the low slot, and be blasted a one-time shot into the back of the net to give the Gladiators a 1-0 lead. The Solar Bears answered when forward J. T. Barnett wristed the puck from the right corner and bounced it off the inside of the pad of G Scott Stajcer to tie the game at 1-1. Barnett knocked home his second goal of the period 2:11 later when he deflected a shot from D Corey Fienhage to push the Solar Bears ahead 2-1 going into the second frame.
Orlando expanded their lead with 3:01 left to go in the second stanza. F Michael Catenacci skated the puck through the neutral zone and moved a pass to forward C.J. Severyn, who beat his defender to the front of the net and snapped a one-time shot inside the left post. The Solar Bears held the 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.
The Gladiators pressured in the third period, but the combination of goaltenders Cody Reichard, who had to leave the game 6:16 into the third, and Micah Perletti held the Gladiators off the board. F Scott Tanski put the final touch on the contest when he put home an empty net goal with 1:25 left to play for his 12th goal of the season as Orlando collected a 4-1 win over Gwinnett.
Three Stars: 1. T. Barnett (ORL); 2. C. Severyn (ORL); 3. M. Perletti (ORL)
Power Plays: ORL: 0/3; GWT: 0/4
Shots: ORL: 32; GWT: 24
J.T. Barnett made his Solar Bears debut tonight, scoring two goals and receiving a fighting major in the game... Forwards Jake Hauswirth and Cameron Abney both made their home debuts tonight... F Scott Tanski played in his 100th game as Solar Bear. He scored an empty net goal for the second straight game... Each team had a goal disallowed in the first period... The Solar Bears improved to 5-0-1-0 at home on Thursday nights... Orlando is now 6-2-0-2 against Gwinnet and 4-0-0-0 against the Gladiators at home... Goaltender Micah Perletti made his professional debut tonight, stopping all six shots he faced in the third period.