O-Town Solar Bears Nation
After a three-game sweep of the Wheeling Nailers, the Solar Bears took on one last road trip before a February home stand. Based on the modest scoring in two of those three games, one might think the defense has been fixed, but one big problem stilled remained for the road trip this past weekend: Crossing state lines. Yes the Solar Bears are 5-16-0 when playing outside the state of Florida. This time, Ryan Cruthers was fined and suspended for Sunday's game for a boarding major the night before and is pending review. To take it even lower, South Carolina Stingrays player Justin Courtnall got the exact same boarding major and game misconduct on Sunday's game, which drew blood off of C.J. Severyn, and so far nothing from the ECHL.
After Sunday's game this question has now been put in Solar Bears fans' minds: What will happen if John Curry gets hurt? Curry left that game after a hard hit and it's unknown if and how many games he may miss. Lately, the #2 goalie spot has become the revolving door of roster moves. Hannu Toinoven announced to the team that he was leaving to go play in Europe again, the Solar Bears brought in Brenton Lindoff from the FHL Danville Dashers to fill in the role while they find a more suitable player. Why I say that? Because when you have a sub .900 SVS% and a 4.88 GAA in the Federal Hockey League, you might as well have gotten Paul Deutsch. However, we later got see Patrick Killeen, who was sent over by Wilkes-Baron/Scranton, get a game in against the Stingrays and was in relief when Curry got hurt. The Solar Bears got James Ried in a trade from the Alaska Aces on Monday. So now, we have four goalies. Curry, Killeen, Ried, and Mike Brodeur. Yes Brodeur's still alive, but I guess his injury still hasn't fully recovered.
So now the Solar Bears won't have to worry about playing across state lines until March 8, giving them plenty of time to work on that defense and keep experimenting with the new goalies. They will play the next 13 of 14 at home and this Saturday, they will honor the 2001 IHL Solar Bears as they unveil the Turner Cup Championship banner.