The Florida Everblades fell short of a comeback Friday night, losing 5-4 to the Orlando Solar Bears in a mostly undisciplined, but typical preseason game at Germain Arena.
Orlando was first to draw blood, less than five minutes into the contest, when on the power play Bears Jacob Lagace beat Blades netminder Zeke Testa (24 shots) for the early lead.
Six minutes later, Orlando piled on two more goals in a span of 25 seconds to open a 3-0 lead. Orlando took advantage of another Everblades penalty in the first period to take a 4-0 lead heading into first intermission.
Florida's undisciplined play continued into the second period, where they failed to convert with 30 seconds of a two-man advantage, followed by another bad effort on a penalty kill 5:30 into the period, that lead to Orlando's fifth goal of the night.
The Blades closed the period on a high note after killing a off yet another penalty with 7:35 to play, leading to a Blades goal by Ladislav Hruska.
Florida's play came around in the third period as a sense of urgency kicked in. After continuous pressure in the first 3:30 of the final period, Ryan Little scored to make it a three-goal deficit. Less than two minutes later forward John Henrion found the bottom corner of the net, making it 5-3 with 15 minutes left in regulation.
Following a 4-on-4 situation and the Blades' ninth penalty kill of the night, Austin Levy found the back of the Orlando net again, but the undisciplined play that plagued them all night led to their undoing, causing the comeback to fall short.
"I thought the team got better as the night went on," said Blades coach Greg Poss. "It was good to see us come back a little in the third period. It took awhile to get our legs, but it's preseason and we want to be our best next week (regular season)."
Orlando and Florida skate again Saturday night in the last preseason matchups to close out training camp.