GREENVILLE, S.C. - Dylan Fitze recorded a Gordie Howe Hat Trick and Otto Somppi tallied two goals as the Orlando Solar Bears (38-25-4-1) used a three-goal second period to come away with a 5-2 win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (23-40-3-3) on Sunday afternoon at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The Solar Bears took an early 1-0 lead in the first period when Mitch Hults sent a pass from the right wall to Mathieu Foget at the left side of the net, who then hammered the puck past Garrett Bartus at 1:17 for his 20th of the season. Fitze received credit for the secondary assist on Foget’s goal.
Danny Elser tied it at 1-1 when he knocked in a rebound that had struck the pads of Connor Ingram at 14:42.
Alex Schoenborn gave Orlando a 2-1 lead with a shorthanded goal at 4:20 of the second period when he teamed up with Troy Bourke on a 2-on-1 and buried his 10th of the season with a shot from the left circle.
The Swamp Rabbits evened the score at 2-2 moments after the penalty to Rob Mann expired, as Stephen Pierog tied up Tayler Thompson at the faceoff circle and Daniel Perez snapped a shot past Ingram at 5:40.
Somppi gave Orlando the lead again at 15:44 when he banked the puck in off the crossbar and behind Bartus for his 11th of the season.
Fitze extended the lead to two goals at 19:40 as he snapped a shot from the left circle past Bartus for his 12th of the season to make it 4-2 in favor of the Solar Bears.
The Swamp Rabbits pulled Bartus for an extra skater while on the power play late in the third period, but Somppi sealed the win for Orlando with his second of the day at 18:11.
Fitze then earned the Gordie Howe Hat Trick when he squared off with Brody Silk at center ice, while Mike Monfredo paired up with Luke Ripley at 19:38.
Ingram picked up the win with 31 saves on 33 shots against; Bartus took the loss with 32 stops on 36 shots against.
1) Otto Somppi – ORL
2) Dylan Fitze – ORL
3) Stephen Pierog – GRN
• The Solar Bears took the regular season series with the Swamp Rabbits with the win, giving Orlando a 5-3-1-0 record in nine games against Greenville.
• Orlando’s magic number to clinch second place in the South Division – and ensure home ice advantage for the South Division Semifinals – has been reduced to two points with today’s win.
• Schoenborn’s goal gives the forward a two-game point streak (2g-1a) and 50 career points (20g-30a) in his pro career.
• Bourke’s assist on Schoenborn’s goal extends his assist streak to three games (3a).
• Chris LeBlanc’s assist on Somppi’s first goal gives the forward a three-game point streak (2g-1a).
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