The Orlando Solar Bears extended their winning streak to 11 games with a 4-3 decision over the Kalamazoo Wings at the Amway Center on Friday Night. F Michael Catenacci led the charge for the Solar Bears, picking up a goal and an assist along with +4 rating in the victory.
The Solar Bears opened up the scoring 2:41 into the game. F Zach Harrison made a quick pass to F Michael Catenacci who found D Blake Kessel on the right post. Kessel slammed the puck into the back of the net on a one-time shot to put the Solar Bears ahead 1-0. RW David Pacan evened up the contest at 13:07 when he deflected a shot from F Yannick Veilleux through the five-hole of G Cody Reichard. Another goal from a defenseman put the Solar Bears ahead with 2:33 left in the first. D Bryce Aneloski forced a turnover in the neutral zone, took the puck up the left wing, and deked past G Jordan Binnington to give Orlando a 2-1 lead after one period.
Before the midway point of the second frame, Orlando stretched their lead to two goals. F Michael Catenacci forced a turnover right in front of the net and then lifted a backhand shot into the top right corner for the unassisted tally as Orlando took a 3-1 lead into the third.
An early third period goal pushed the Orlando advantage to 4-1. Forward C.J. Severyn took the puck through the neutral zone and up the left wing. He fired a backhand shot that was stopped by Binnington but found his own rebound and put it in the top corner 29 seconds into the final stanza. Kalamazoo answered back at 1:50 when C Justin Taylor fired a wrist shot into the back of the net to bring Kalamazoo within two. They then cut the lead down to 4-3 at 12:59 when RW Chris Lawrence gather bouncing puck just past the top of the crease and slammed it home. It was as close as the Wings would get, as Reichard stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced to earn the win.
Three Stars: 1. M. Catenacci (ORL); 2. C. Severyn (ORL); 3. B. Aneloski (ORL) Power Plays: ORL: 0/4; KAL: 0/4 Shots: ORL: 33; KAL: 27
Notes: The Solar Bears have now won 11 straight contests dating back to a 5-3 win over the Florida Everblades on February 4... Orlando has won 10 straight games as home and has not lost in regulation at home in 12 contests (11-0-1)... G Cody Reichard continued his club-high winning streak and has now won nine starts in a row... F Michael Catenacci finished the night with a +4 rating, the highest in a single game for a Solar Bear this season... Orlando finished the month of February with an 11-1-0 record, including going 6-0-0 on home ice... The Solar Bears improved to 10-3-0 in Friday night games... The Solar Bears are 17-0-0 at home when scoring three or more goals.