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Sweet Repeatdate: 04/16/2009
From the opening drop of the puck, the Ice Bears conveyed a look of determination, confidence and heart. The look of a champion. Chris Rebernik scored two to fuel Knoxville to back-to-back SPHL championships and Kirk Irving, the Finals MVP, allowed just one goal to give the Ice Bears a 3-1 victory in the deciding game seven.
Shaun Norrie scored first for the 2009 champions on just the second shot on goal. Bobby Joe Pelkey, still surging from last night’s hat trick, found Norrie near the crease to give the Ice Bears a 1-0 lead 3:21 into the game. From that moment on, Knoxville was not to be denied. A slight hiccup allowed the FireAntz a chance when Brett McConnachie tallied a goal in a pile-up near the net, but Rebernik scored his first of the night, a top shelf wrister, 2:47 later when Kevin Harris’ shot ricocheted off Fayetteville goalie Guy St. Vincent to Rebernik.
Rebernik’s second came from a Frank Furdero feed, blasting the puck past St. Vincent once more. With 8:25 remaining in the period, the countdown was on for the President’s Cup. A terrific penalty-killing unit combined with stellar goaltending from Irving muscled the Ice Bears to the win, negating nine FireAntz powerplay opportunities, three of which were two-man advantages.
The crowd of 2,705 gave a standing ovation to captain Kevin Swider as Commissioner Jim Combs presented the Cup to him, with chants of “one more year” echoing throughout the Knoxville Coliseum.Back