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Ice Bears Secure Playoff Berth with a Statement Windate: 03/19/2011
Ice Bears Secure Playoff Berth with a Statement Win
For immediate release. For more information please contact Dave Feather
at (865) 525-7825 / (865) 254-7825 or at
Knoxville, TN – Coming off a disappointing loss last night in Augusta, the Knoxville Ice Bears hit the ice tonight with the opportunity to secure their spot in the 2011 SPHL Playoffs in front of 4,412 fans. Fayetteville struck first, but back-to-back goals by Tyler Fletcher and solid goaltending by Bryan Hince gave Knoxville the win, 5-2.
It was midway through the first period before either team saw a point. With Frank Furdero and Martin Kubaliak in the penalty box, Fayetteville had a 5-on-3 advantage. Chris Leveille broke past Knoxville Hince for the first goal of the game and an early lead.
The Ice Bears were held scoreless in the first period, but returned for the second with a new energy. Less than two minutes into the second, Fletcher tied the game at one with assistance from Jay Birnie and Mike Bulawka. Five minutes later, Fletcher scored an unassisted goal to give the Ice Bears to a 2-1 lead.
To round out a dominating second period, Jon Higgins scored his fifth goal as an Ice Bear and lifted Knoxville to a 3-1 lead skating into the second intermission.
About three minutes into the final period, Fayetteville’s DJ Fimiani attempted a FireAntz comeback with an unassisted goal, but seven minutes later, Segal snuck the puck past Fayetteville goalie Travis Yonkman for a short-handed goal, bringing the score to 4-2.
At the end of the third period, Fayetteville pulled their goalie to skate a sixth player on the ice, but Dan Mercer caught the puck and hit the empty net to end the FireAntz playoff hopes with a 5-2 Ice Bears victory.
The final home game of the regular season is Friday, March 25, against the Fayetteville FireAntz. It is Smokies Night presented by AAA East Tennessee with “Regroup” specials for anyone who brought out a group previously this season.
Mercedes-Benz 3 Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Tyler Fletcher
2nd Star: Jon Higgins
3rd Star: Bryan Hince