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Battle of Florida: Line brawl erupts as Solar Bears shut out Everblades

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Goalie fight!

woooo boy.
Hockey equipment yardsale at Amway!
Orlando Solar Bears

Can you imagine playing hockey against the same team twelve times a season, and then starting in on a playoff round against the same team? That might just explain the line brawl that erupted in Orlando between the Solar Bears and the Everblades in Game 4 of the first round of Kelly Cup playoffs.

As I mentioned yesterday, the Florida Everblades are not only used to beating the Solar Bears, but are used to doing it with panache. There's an in-state rivalry series called the Wawa Sunshine Cup, consisting of 12 games. The Everblades won the series 10 games to 2, including the very last game of the season against green goalie Mitch Gillam. That last game against Gillam, boy -- if the Everblades were playing a role playing game, they rolled a crit. Gillam, fresh from his season in Cornell, saw 10 goals go past him.

Are the Everblades frustrated with Massa this series? His playoff SV% is .941, with 2.14 GAA -- good for 3 wins, pushing the Everblades to potential elimination this afternoon. Not only that, but for the entire series, the Everblades have been out-shooting and out-possessing the Solar Bears, 153 shots to 122. Starting goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, in his first professional year away from the Ice Dogs, has lost three games with an SV% of .905, 2.75 GAA.

SO YEAH maybe this is all rationale for what happened in the last few seconds of Game 4. What happened? Here's the tale as told by Don Money:

Not too long after the ensuing face-off, the Everblades frustrations and the general animosity between the two bitter rivals bolied over. Florida’s Mitchell Heard and Orlando’s Mason Marchment dropped the gloves at center ice, drawing the attention of everyone in the building. While that was going on, a secondary altercation between the Everblades Dalton Smith, Massa and Solar Bears defenseman Eric Baier broke out.

It took no time for the ice to look like a yard sale of sticks, gloves, helmets and other gear as everyone on the ice converged. Even Nedeljkovic, shedding equipment along the way, sped from his net to join in the mele.

In all five players from each team including both goalies were given game misconducts for continuing an altercation.

Heard got the worst of it, picking up 29 minutes in the fracas. Backup goalies Anthony Peters for Florida and Mitch Gillam for Orlando finished up the final 46 seconds of play between the pipes.

Here’s a list of the penalties in the 3rd:

  • 2, Orlando, Conacher 1 (Crane), 7:18.
  • 3, Orlando, Doherty 3 18:52 (EN).
  • Penalties-Harris Fla (high-sticking), 11:11
  • Baker Fla (fighting - major, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), 19:14
  • Heard Fla (instigating, fighting - major, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), 19:14
  • McCarron Fla (fighting - major, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), 19:14
  • Nedeljkovic Fla (fighting - major, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), 19:14
  • Raine Fla (fighting - major, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), 19:14
  • Baier Orl (roughing, fighting - major, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), 19:14
  • Bubela Orl (fighting - major, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), 19:14
  • Buzzeo Orl (fighting - major, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), 19:14
  • Marchment Orl (fighting - major), 19:14
  • Massa Orl (fighting - major, game misconduct - fighting (continuing altercation)), 19:14
  • Moore Orl (misconduct), 19:14.


What will happen tonight? It is possible that Massa was injured by the fight, meaning that Gillam will take the net. Will the Everblades be able to push the series to seven games and win it? It’s more likely now than it was 3 minutes before the final buzzer at Amway last night.


As of 3:45, Massa was placed on reserve, and Bobby Fowler called up as EBUG. Go Gillam go!

The game starts at 4 PM, and you can listen via Solar Bears radio.