74ºF

Solar Bears advance to second round of playoffs

Orlando Solar Bears beat South Carolina Stingrays 5-2

photo

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Jonne Tammela and Hunter Fejes posted three-point games to lead the Orlando Solar Bears (4-1) to a 5-2 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays (1-4) in Game 5 of the South Division Semifinals on Saturday night at North Charleston Coliseum to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

For the third time in the series, it was Solar Bears forward Tayler Thompson who broke a scoreless tie to give his team the first lead of the game, as Tammela forced a turnover at the Orlando blue line, allowing Thompson to break out with Fejes for a 2-on-1 and snap a shot over the blocker of Parker Milner at 4:43 of the first period for his third goal of the playoffs.

Fejes gave Orlando a 2-0 lead while the Solar Bears had the man advantage as he redirected a blue line pass from Michael Brodzinski at the side of the net for a power-play goal and his third tally of the playoffs at 10:12.

The Stingrays got on the board just 13 seconds into the second period when Kevin McKernan took the puck wide up the right side before driving the net and jamming one past Connor Ingram.

Troy Bourke answered with another power-play goal for the Solar Bears at 9:25 as he made his way into the slot, received a pass from Colby McAuley at the left circle and spun to his left before backhanding a shot past Milner for his first of the playoffs, making it 3-1.

Grant Besse responded for South Carolina with a power-play goal during a delayed penalty as he fired home a back-door feed from Cameron Askew at 16:59.

Tammela restored the two-goal edge for Orlando when he received a feed at the right circle from Fejes as the pair entered the attacking zone, and wristed a shot past the glove of Milner at 18:06 for his first of the postseason.

Fejes then capped the scoring in the third period with an empty-net goal at 16:57 to put the game – and series – out of reach for the hosts.

Ingram earned his fourth straight win of the playoffs with 28 saves on 30 shots against; Milner took the loss with 25 stops on 29 shots against.

THREE STARS

1) Jonne Tammela – ORL
2) Hunter Fejes – ORL
3) Cameron Askew – SC

NOTABLES:

•    The victory improves Orlando to 5-0 all-time on the road in the playoffs against South Carolina, and 8-1 overall against the Stingrays in the postseason.
•    Orlando outscored the Stingrays 16-10 in the series; Orlando’s five goals in Game 5 matched the team’s single-game playoff record for most goals in a game.
•    Bourke’s goal extends his point streak to four games (1g-3a), matching Chris Crane (1g-5a, April 22-26, 2017) for the longest postseason point streak by a Solar Bears player.
•    Thompson now has a two-game goal streak (2g).
•    Tammela has a two-game point streak (1g-3a).
•    McAuley’s assist on Bourke’s goal gives him a two-game point streak (1g-1a).
•    Ingram finished the series with a 4-1 record, along with a 1.64 goals-against average and a save percentage of .947.