For the first time in franchise history, the Orlando SeasWolves have earned back-to-back wins with a 7-4 victory over the Milwaukee Wave on Monday night. There were a total of four lead changes in the back-and-forth affair, but the SeaWolves finished the game with four unanswered goals to win it at the Silver Spurs Arena.
“It’s a really good win against a very, very good team loaded with fantastic players, a great coaching staff,” said SeaWolves Head Coach Tom Traxler. “For us tonight, to come in, to take leads, to surrender that lead and go behind, and then show the character to come back, retake the lead, and finish off the win, I couldn’t be anything but very pleased with my team tonight.”
The first quarter came and went without much action. Each goalkeeper made one excellent save, but that was about all that happened. The second quarter made up for the lull in action, though. Ian Bennett got the games first goal with 11:36 left in the half. Milwaukee did not have the lead for long, though, as just 40 seconds later Gordy Gurson scored his ninth goal of the season.
GORDY GURSON! He finds the top of the net to level the game at 1! 1-1. #JoinTheFamily pic.twitter.com/nfgWxWFsQr— Orlando SeaWolves (@MCOSeaWolves) January 22, 2019
Less than two minutes later, Orlando doubled its lead. Gurson went hard into the boards and lost control of the ball. Luckily, Osvaldo Rojas was there to put it into the back of the net.
SEAWOLVES LEAD! Osvaldo Rojas cleans it up and Orlando is up 2-1! #JoinTheFamily pic.twitter.com/aqtZghgibh— Orlando SeaWolves (@MCOSeaWolves) January 22, 2019
Gurson got injured on the play and needed to be helped off the field. He was able to return in the second half, but the injury will likely keep him out a few days.
“[My knee] was a little banged up before anything even happened tonight,” said Gurson. “Banging it into the boards probably wasn’t helping the case. Right now I’m just going to do what the doc tells me, take it day by day, and hopefully I’m ready for Friday.”
That was all the goals in the first half as the SeaWolves took a 2-1 lead into halftime. Play was fairly even, and neither team had many good looks at goal.
Edwin Rojas had the goal of the game, and it came about halfway through the third quarter. With time and space, Rojas decided to take a shot from distance and the ball somehow found its way into the back of the net.
That goal gave Orlando a 3-1 lead, but the Wave came crashing back and scored three unanswered. Drew Ruggles and Guilherme Veiga scored within 80 seconds of each other. The SeaWolves looked a step slow, and Milwaukee made Orlando pay for it.
It was then Orlando’s turn to go on a run. Down 4-3, the SeaWolves scored back-to-back goals and retook the lead. Mario Alvarez scored on a power play, and then with 4:16 left in the game Richard Schmermund banged one in from a set piece.
MY GOODNESS @Schmerminator! The strike of dreams puts the SeaWolves up 5-4! #JoinTheFamily pic.twitter.com/86vitT4znd— Orlando SeaWolves (@MCOSeaWolves) January 22, 2019
Orlando ended up scoring another two goals, and finished it 7-4. Milwaukee pulled its keeper and Orlando hit the Wave on the counter two times in the last minute of the game. Orlando finished the game with 20 shots, but a strong fourth quarter saw four goals off of seven shots.
“This is huge for the whole organization on a mental standpoint,” said Gurson. “Us beating one of the top two teams in the league right now. It’s just huge after some of the losses that we wish we didn’t have. It’s good to show that if we continue to do our game plan it doesn’t matter if we play the best team or the worst team, we’re going to be able to perform.”