ORLANDO, Fla. – Corey Kalk exploded with a hat trick performance in the second period to lead the Orlando Solar Bears (26-19-3-0) to a 6-3 win over the Jacksonville Icemen (25-22-2-2) on Friday night at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center.
Orlando took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Alexander Kuqali’s shot from the left point glanced off of Alex Schoenborn, allowing Mike Monfredo to deposit the puck behind Ken Appleby at the 8:40 mark for his sixth of the season.
Kalk began his scoring binge at 4:14 of the second period when he won a faceoff in the offensive zone back to Matthew Spencer, and deflected Spencer’s point shot past Appleby for his fifth of the season.
Kalk then made it 3-0 at 10:49 when he snapped a shot over Appleby into the top-left corner of the net.
Jacksonville got on the board when Garret Ladd received the puck in the slot and used his body to shield the puck from the view of Martin Ouellette before the Icemen forward turned and fired a shot past Ouellette at 12:18.
Kalk completed the hat trick at 19:33 when he made his way from the left corner to the slot and snapped the puck through the pads of Appleby.
After Jacksonville opted to replace Appleby with Tanner Jaillet to start the third period, the two teams traded goals in the third period, as Wacey Rabbit scored at 7:01 to bring the visitors back to within two of Orlando.
Trevor Olson then netted his eighth of the season on a back-door feed from Mathieu Foget to make it 5-2.
Everett Clark again brought Jacksonville back within two goals of the Solar Bears at 15:56, but Schoenborn capped the scoring with an empty-net tally at 18:39 for his sixth goal of the season.
Ouellette picked up the win with 28 saves on 31 shots against; Appleby took the loss after coming up with 19 stops on 23 shots, while Jaillet turned aside five of six in relief.
1) Corey Kalk – ORL
2) Mike Monfredo – ORL
3) Mike Robinson – ORL
• The Solar Bears improved to 8-2-0-0 against the Icemen in the 12-game regular season series. Orlando is 9-0-0-0 lifetime on home ice against Jacksonville. The victory moves Orlando into a tie in points with second-place South Carolina (55). The Solar Bears have won four straight on home ice dating back to Jan. 6.
• Kalk’s three goals in the second period tied Mickey Lang (March 27, 2014 vs. Evansville, 2nd period) for the most goals scored by a Solar Bears player in an individual frame. The rookie also snapped a 17-game goal-scoring drought dating back to Dec. 12 at Jacksonville, when Kalk scored twice in a 4-2 win.
• Monfredo – normally a defenseman – was converted to forward for the game and skated on a line with Kalk and Mike Robinson. The Solar Bears captain finished the game with two points (1g-1a), his second multi-point outing of the season.
• Robinson assisted on Kalk’s second and third goals for his first career assists.
• Schoenborn finished the night with two points (1g-1a) and now has a two-game point streak (1g-2a).
• Spencer’s assist on Kalk’s first goal gives the defenseman a two-game assist streak (2a).
• Foget’s assist on Olson’s goal gives the forward a two-game point streak (1g-1a).
• Jackson Playfair made his pro debut for Orlando after signing with the Solar Bears earlier in the day. The forward earned an assist on Schoenborn’s empty-net goal.