ORLANDO – The Evansville IceMen were unable to match a season-best three game winning streak after losing decisively at Amway Center in Orlando on Wednesday.
The IceMen entered action against the Solar Bears shorthanded as three integral parts of Evansville’s sweep of Ft. Wayne were absent. It was, however, the latest addition to the IceMen lineup that claimed the lone Evansville goal of the game.
Rookie Forward Andre Bouvet-Morrissette scored his first goal of the season in his IceMen debut, representing one of the few bright spots against Orlando. Bouvet-Morrissette’s milestone marker was assisted by IceMen Right Winger Jason Dale 13:55 into the second period.
Bouvet-Morrissette was acquired via trade made by the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. The rookie forward played 20 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones this season, where he compiled two assists.
Former teammate to Bouvet-Morrissette in Cincinnati, Goaltender Zoltan Hetenyi made his Solar Bears debut against the IceMen.
Hetenyi, also included in the aforementioned trade, earned the win after saving 35-of-36 shots faced, earning a .972 save percentage. The newest Orlando net-minder was voted the third star of the game, improving his record to (6-4-2) on the season.
Orlando Forward C.J. Severyn claimed the game’s first star honor behind a four-point performance against Evansville. Severyn accumulated three assists in the first 40 minutes of the game and added his 18th goal of the season 16:51 into the third period. Orlando’s second leading scorer capped an offensive masterpiece with a goal that resulted in the eventual final score of 6-1.
Orlando Defenseman Michael Wilson was the owner of the game-winning goal that came 17:19 into the first period. Severyn earned his second assist of the game on Wilson’s third goal of the season.
Severyn’s first assist came on the game’s initial tally scored by Orlando Center Ryan Cruthers 5:58 into the opening frame. For Cruthers, voted second star of the game, his opening marker was his first of two goals against the IceMen on Wednesday.
The Solar Bears’ captain earned his second goal of the game, 19th of the season, 17:02 into the second period. Severyn grabbed his third assist of the game on Cruthers’ multi-goal lamp-lighter.
Severyn (+4) and Cruthers (+3) combined for a +7 rating against the IceMen.
Orlando Forward Derrick Burnett and Right Winger Justin Levac each accomplished their first markers of the season on Wednesday. Burnett’s singleton came 7:14 into the second period, giving the Solar Bears a 3-0 lead. Levac’s triumph occurred 3:08 into the third period, ultimately ending Evansville’s hopes of a comeback as they then lead 5-1.
IceMen Goaltender Paul Dainton suffered the loss after allowing six goals against 30 shots faced. Dainton’s setback in his seventh straight start in-net for Evansville declines his record to (5-10-2) on the season.
The defensive pairing of Defensemen Daniel Tetrault and Anton Blomqvist each finished the game with a +1 rating for Evansville.
The IceMen power play was quieted on Wednesday after a recent hot streak had the unit at a 40% efficiency rating in its previous 15 appearances. Evansville went 0-for-5 on the man advantage in Orlando.
Evansville’s penalty killing unit, however, brought more of the same against the Solar Bears. Orlando’s power play unit was shut down in each of their three opportunities. The IceMen have now killed off 25 straight opponent power play appearances.
The IceMen fall to a record of (19-31-5)43 on the season and remain in fifth in the North Division. Orlando snapped a two game losing streak and improves its record to (24-26-5)53 on the campaign, but remain in fifth place in a stacked and skillful South Division.
The IceMen will stay in Florida for a two-game weekend series with one of those South Division contingents , the Florida Everblades. Friday night’s game will start at 6:30 p.m. and can be heard on ‘Magic 98.5’ FM and 1400 AM WEOA, as well as the rest of the IceMen Radio Network.