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Orlando Solar Bears

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Orlando Solar Bears
Orlando Solar Bears
Conference Eastern
Division Central (1995–96)
Northeast (1996–1999)
Founded 1994
History Orlando Solar Bears
Arena TD Waterhouse Centre
City Orlando, Florida
Team Colours Solar Purple, Seafoam Green, and Sunset Orange
Owner(s) {{{owner(s)}}}
General Manager Don Waddell 1995–1997
John Weisbrod 1997–2001
Head Coach Curt Fraser 1995–1999
Pete Horachek 1999–2001
Captain different through years
Minor League affiliates {{{minor_league_affiliates}}}
Stanley Cups {{{stanley_cup_champs}}}
Presidents' Trophies {{{presidents_trophies}}}
Conferences {{{conference_champs}}}
Divisions {{{division_champs}}}
Official Website
Home ice

The Orlando Solar Bears were a professional team based out of Orlando, Florida that played their home games at the TD Waterhouse Centre (now the Amway Arena).


Turner Cup Champions: 1 — 2000–01
Runner-up: 2 — 1995–96, 1998–99
Conference Champions: Eastern: 3 — 1995–96, 1998–99, 2000–01
Division Champions: Central: 1 — 1995–96
Main Rival: Detroit Vipers

Franchise historyEdit

The Solar Bears started in 1995 and played in the International Hockey League until the league folded in 2001. They were owned by the DeVos family, who also owned the Grand Rapids Griffins of the IHL and the Orlando Magic of the NBA. During their time in the IHL, the team made it to three Turner Cup finals, being swept by the Utah Grizzlies in 1996, losing in game seven to the Houston Aeros in 1999 and defeating the Chicago Wolves in five games in 2001.

Several IHL teams were taken into the American Hockey League, but the Solar Bears were not among them. The DeVos family could only bring one team into the AHL, and chose the Griffins because the Solar Bears had never drawn well despite their on-ice success. However, the IHL's prestigious "Turner Cup" resides in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario with the Orlando Solar Bears team name inscribed for all posterity as the last team to win it. A handful of Solar Bears went on to play for the team they defeated for the cup, the Chicago Wolves, (AHL), most notably goalie, Norm Maracle, the IHL MVP. of that deciding playoff series 1999–2001. That Wolves team went on the win the Calder Cup in their first AHL season.

During its inaugural season, the Solar Bears starred center Alfie Turcotte, former first round pick of the Montreal Canadiens. Other notable team members included: Hubie McDonough (New York Islanders), C.; Pat Neaton, D.; Barry Dreger, D.; Todd Richards, D.; Curtis Murphy, D.; Allan Bester, G.; Dave Barr. C.; Mark Beaufait, F.; Todd Krygier (Washington Capitals), F.; Kirby Law, F.; Mike Hartman, F.; Jason Blake, F.; Zac Boyer, F.; Grigori Panteleev, F; Herbert Vasiljevs, F.; and Dan Snyder (Atlanta Thrashers), F.

Historic comeback from 0–3 deficit: In the 1999 Turner Cup Conference Finals, the Solar Bears completed the only successful comeback from a 0–3 deficit in the 56-year history of the International Hockey League. It came at the expense of the Detroit Vipers. In a thrilling Game 7, rookie Jason Blake scored twice in regulation and winger Todd Krygier got the game-winner 25 seconds into the second overtime, giving Orlando a 5–4 victory. Unfortunately for the Solar Bears, they lost in the finals, 4 games to 3, to the Houston Aeros.

Season-by-season recordEdit

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Season GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
1995–96 82 52 24 6 0 110 352 307 2161 1st in Central Final, 0–4 (UTA)
1996–97 8253 24 0 5 111 305 232 2218 2nd in Northeast Lost in Semi-final (CIN)
1997–98 82 42 30 10 3 94 258 251 2321 2nd in Northeast Lost in ECF (DET)
1998–99 82 45 33 4 0 94 264 253 2324 2nd in Northeast Final, 3–4 (HOU)
1999–00 8247 23 0 12 106 250 202 2020 2nd in East Lost in Semi-final (CIN)
2000–01 824728071012411931592 2nd in EastWon Turner Cup, 4–1 (CHI)
Grand Totals 492 286 162 20 29 535 1670 1438 12636

IHL Awards and TrophiesEdit

Turner Cup

  • 2000–01

Eastern Conference Champions Trophy

  • 1995–96, 1998–99, 2000–01

James Norris Memorial Trophy (Best Goaltender - Statistical)

Commissioners' Trophy (Coach of the Year)

Ken McKenzie Trophy (American Born Rookie of the Year)

James Gatschene Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player)

N.R. Poile Trophy (Playoff MVP)

Gary F. Longman Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year)

Comeback Player of the Year

Orlando Solar Bear Individual RecordsEdit

Most Goals in a season: Craig Fisher, 74 (1995–96)
Most Assists in a season: Mark Beaufait, 79 (1995–96)
Most Points in a season: Craig Fisher, 130 (1995–96)
Most Penalty Minutes in a season: Barry Dreger, 387 (1996–97)
Most Wins in a season: Norm Maracle, 33 (2000–01)
Most Shutouts in a season: Norm Maracle, 8 (2000–01)

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Orlando Solar Bears. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

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