ESTERO, Fla. - The Orlando Solar Bears (40-25-5-1) earned a point, but fell to the Florida Everblades (49-16-5-1) by a score of 3-2 in overtime on Friday night at Hertz Arena.
Orlando took a 1-0 lead at 4:17 of the first period while on the penalty kill when Rob Mann sent a pass out of the defensive zone, allowing Mathieu Foget to race up the ice and beat Jeremy Helvig for a shorthanded goal and Foget’s 21st of the season.
Mike Monfredo made it 2-0 for the Solar Bears at 9:21 when Shaquille Merasty chipped the puck back to the blue line and Monfredo fired a wrist shot from the point that beat Helvig for the defenseman’s eighth of the season.
The Everblades struck on the power play at 17:19, as Andy Tonge scored from the right circle to beat Clint Windsor and cut Orlando’s lead in half.
Florida then tied the score at 3:44 of the second period, knocking in a rebound past Windsor to make it 2-2.
The teams remained tied through the end of regulation, and the Everblades won the game when Michael Downing scored on the power play at 3:02 of the extra session.
Windsor took the overtime loss with 32 saves on 35 shots against; Helvig earned the victory with 22 stops on 24 shots against.
1) Michael Downing – FLA
2) Alex Tonge – FLA
3) Jeremy Helvig – FLA
• The Solar Bears completed their 2018-19 road schedule with a 20-12-4-0 record (44 points, .611 win percentage), setting a new franchise single-season mark for wins and points earned on the road.
• Orlando and Florida each finished their 12-game head-to-head series with identical 6-3-2-1 records against each other. The Solar Bears outscored the Everblades by a 44-41 differential.
• Monfredo’s goal matched his previous career-high, as the defenseman had previously scored eight goals with the Quad City Mallards during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. The goal was also Monfredo’s 50th career point with the Solar Bears (15g-35a).
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