By Danny Morales
Robby Dee had two goals and one assist on eight shots to help the South Carolina Stingrays defeat the Orlando Solar Bears 3-0 on Sunday, Feb. 17 in front of 6,510 fans at the Amway Center.
Patrick Killeen saved 34 out of 37 shots for the Solar Bears while Stingrays goalie Ryan Zapolski saved 15 out of 15 shots for his fifth shutout of the season.
South Carolina finished the game outshooting Orlando 37-15.
“We didn’t stick to our game plan,” said Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky about his team’s performance. “The players had it in there head that they were going to do it a different way and it didn’t work obviously.”
The Solar Bears finished the first period tied 0-0 but Orlando was outshot by South Carolina 9-4 during the opening frame.
“I just think we have a lack of urgency to our game,” said Berehowsky. “We came out and we played okay for the first period, once again we were undisciplined going into the third period and we fell apart.”
Dee gave the Stingrays a 1-0 lead midway through the second period when he scored his 12th goal of the season thanks to assists from Andrew Cherniwchan and Luka Vidmar with 10:32 remaining in the stanza.
Dee added an insurance goal for the Stingrays when he scored his second goal of the game on a powerplay with 12:18 remaining in the final period.
Hunter Bishop gave South Carolina a 3-0 lead when he scored a 5-on-3 powerplay goal with 7:06 left to play in the game. Dee assisted on the Bishop goal earning his third point of the game.
Vidmar assisted all three of the Stingrays’ goals on Sunday, giving him 21 points on the season.
“It’s terrible anytime you lose,” said Berehowsky about losing a pivotal series against South Carolina. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s against South Carolina, or Greenville, Gwinnett, whoever it is nobody likes to lose.”
With the loss the Solar Bears record falls to 23-26-2-3 for the season. Orlando now sits in 12th place, seven points back of the eighth and final playoff spot with 17 games left in the season.
“I think the thing that upsets me the most is that we never gave ourselves a chance to win.” said Berehowsky. “When I feel like our effort isn’t there for a full 60 min and we do undisciplined, selfish things that’s what hurts me the most.”
“It’s disappointing but we have to regroup,” added Berehowsky. “We’ve got a lot of games coming up here and we have to figure things out.”
Orlando’s next game will be on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7:00 p.m. against the last place Evansville IceMen at the Amway Center before playing back-to-back games against the division leading Gwinnett Gladiators.
“Every game is important,” said Berehowsky about the upcoming portion of the schedule. “Anyway you look at it we’re in a dogfight and every game is important to us.”