Orlando, FL. – Norfolk scored four straight goals after falling behind as the Admirals topped the Orlando Solar Bears 5-3 on Wednesday night in Orlando.
The Admirals tied a season high in shots on goal (44) in the victory. Grant Besse netted two goals and had four points in the victory. Newcomer Mitch Vandergunst scored his first ECHL goal in his ECHL debut.
Orlando got on the board first, taking advantage of an early Admirals penalty. J.J. Piccinich fed Darryl Bootland in front of the net for a one-timer that snuck past Ty Reichenbach to give Orlando a 1-0 lead. In the second that lead would double. Entering the zone on a two-on-one, Joshua Winquist out waited everyone before tucking puck into the net giving Orlando a 2-0 lead 5:43 into the period.
After allowing the first two Norfolk would score the next two. The Admirals power play got the team within one four minutes later. Grant Besse’s shot was deflected by the defender, but bounced right to the stick of the Patrick D’Amico who ripped a shot past Heeter. D’Amico’s fifth of the season brought the Admirals within one before Mitch Vandergunst tied it. Michael Young corralled the puck at the blue line, took three steps in before unleashing a shot that was tipped in front by Vandergunst. The forward’s first ECHL goal in his ECHL debut, tied the game at 2-2 heading into the third.
In the final frame of regulation the Admirals continued their mid-game run, netting the first two goals of the period. With a delayed penalty on the Solar Bears defenseman Don Olivieri gave the Admirals their first lead of the night. Olivieri wound up from the left point before blasting a shot past Heeter. Three minutes later the Admirals penalty kill struck for the second time in as many games. Grant Besse walked into the zone on the left wing and cut to the center before snapping a shot from the top of the circle the found the back of the net, giving the forward his first of the night. Late in the period Darryl Bootland brought the Solar Bears within one, but Besse would add an empty net goal with 1:08 left to play, sealing the victory.
Ty Reichenbach stopped 36 of 39 shots in the victory. Heeter made 39 saves on 43 shots.
Norfolk finished the night one-for-three on the man-advantage, while Orlando was one-for-four.
The Admirals and Solar Bears are back in action tomorrow night at the Amway Center.