ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Solar Bears (39-25-4-1) clinched home ice advantage in the first round of the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs as the club picked up a 2-0 win over the Jacksonville Icemen (36-30-2-2) on Tuesday night at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center.
The Solar Bears took a 1-0 lead when Colby McAuley sent a pass from the left corner into the slot for Troy Bourke, who wristed his 11th of the season past Angus Redmond at 5:39.
Orlando made it 2-0 at the 13:15 mark on the power play, as Chris LeBlanc dished the puck from the left circle to Alexei Lipanov at the right post, and the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect buried his first professional goal to extend the lead.
Through the second period, the Solar Bears continued to maintain their lead on the Icemen, thanks in part to Connor Ingram, who turned aside 14 chances, including a glove save on Maxime Fortier from the slot at the 10:14 mark of the frame.
The Solar Bears then smothered the Icemen in the third, limiting the visitors to just three shots on goal to secure the win.
Ingram earned the shutout victory by stopping all 30 shots he faced; Redmond took the loss with 37 saves on 39 shots against.
1) Connor Ingram – ORL
2) Alexei Lipanov – ORL
3) Tayler Thompson – ORL
• Although Orlando has locked up second place in the South Division, the final seedings – and Orlando’s first round opponent – have yet to be determined. The Solar Bears will open the South Division Semifinals next week at home, with Game 1 set for Wednesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. and Game 2 set for Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. Further details about Orlando’s first-round schedule and opponent will be announced in the coming days.
• The Solar Bears lead the regular season series against Jacksonville with an 9-2-0-0 record, and conclude the series on Sunday at home. Orlando improved to a lifetime 10-0-0-0 at home against Jacksonville.
• The game was the 250th home game in franchise history – Orlando is a lifetime 131-88-15-16 (.586) on the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center ice.
• Bourke’s goal extends his point streak to four games (1g-3a).
• LeBlanc finished the night with two assists, extending his point streak to four games (2g-3a).
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