Previously in Solar Bears news:
On this St. Patrick's day, with 69 points in 59 games, hope blooms in Orlando for capturing the fourth (and last) playoff spot in the East Division.
Close on the Bears' heels are the Elmira Jackals at 66 points, but with one more game played, they will have an uphill battle to retake 4th. The remainder of the season is not easy for the Bears, however. With thirteen divisional games left, the Bears match up against the first-in-division Everblades four times, last-in-division Gwinnett Gladiators five times, and have the remaining games against third-in-division South Carolina Stingrays, sixth-in-division Greenville Road Warriors, and 2013 Kelly Cup champion (second-in-division) Reading Royals.
At this juncture in the season, here are the stats of the seven Leafs prospects currently with the Bears:
|Stefan Della Rovere*||F||46||11||11||22||6||62||1||0||74||14.9|
* On a two-way contract with the Toronto Marlies
** On a two-way contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
These stats speak for themselves in many ways, with all of the forwards (especially Patrick Watling) contributing well, and Garret Sparks continuing to make a case for himself with the Marlies. The only player still showing signs of learning the professional game is Eric Knodel, who has a heavy shot but is often slow on the ice. Knodel is finding his game, however, especially recently.
It's awesome to be able to tell you about a recent record-breaking game, one in a winning streak, in which several Leafs prospects shone. In the past week, the Solar Bears took on (and defeated) the Evansville IceMen twice, but the first game is the one worth talking about. Granted, the IceMen are last in the North Division, but that doesn't normally warrant a game that’s 10-3, with Garrett Sparks making a team record 53 saves on 56 shots. Patrick Watling scored one of these ten goals, Brady Vail tallied three assists, and Eric Knodel tallied two, to set a club record for goals in a game.
Will the Bears continue to be strong down the stretch and clinch their playoff berth? The next few weeks will be very interesting as tempo builds! Regular season ends on April 11.
Since you've made it this far, here is your bonus "Florida Man" story: