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Brendan Dowler scored the game-winning goal for the Ice Bears against Huntsville on Thursday. PHOTO: Ryan Beatty.

Brendan Dowler scored Knoxville’s first power play goal of the season against his former team at 7:30 of the third period and the Ice Bears defeated the Huntsville Havoc 4-2 at Propst Arena in Alabama on Thursday night.

The win is the first for Andrew Harrison in his head coaching debut after he was named Knoxville’s interim head coach on Tuesday. Brent Clarke resigned on Sunday afternoon.

Dowler put Knoxville ahead for good when his wrist shot found the net from the left circle less than two minutes after Huntsville tied the game. Davis Kirkendall won the puck off the right-wing wall and slipped a no-look backhanded pass across the zone to Dowler, who skated in toward the slot and lifted the puck over Brian Wilson for his first SPHL goal.

Brady Fleurent scored early for Knoxville by tapping in a backdoor pass from Jordy Stallard 2:45 into the game. Stallard kept the puck in the Huntsville zone on the forecheck and made his way through the right circle. He slid the puck across the crease behind Wilson and Fleurent got his stick on it to guide it into the net for his third of the season.

Huntsville had several chances to tie the game before the first intermission, but Kristian Stead stopped Dylan Stewart’s one-timer from the left side and held onto a rebound by Dominick Procopio in the right circle.

Huntsville tied the game on the power play when a pass from the blue line found Brandon Osmundson along the Knoxville end line. Osmundson slid the puck across to Doug Elgstam for a close range one-timer that Stead had no chance to stop at 12:34 of the second.

Kirkendall gave Knoxville the lead three and a half minutes later with a quick shot from the left circle. Brendan Dowler’s shot from the right side was blocked, but he tracked the puck down in the high slot and chipped it deep behind the net to Fleurent. Fleurent found a seam to Kirkendall out in front and Kirkendall beat Wilson up high for his first goal as an Ice Bear.

Robbie Fisher knotted things up at 5:55 of the third by redirecting an Alex Kielczewski shot from the blue line for Huntsville’s second power play goal of the game.

Fleurent scored on an empty net with less than two minutes remaining thanks to Kirkendall’s hustle down the ice to waive off an icing whistle. Kirkendall was pinned in the right corner before it came free for Fleurent to skate out in front and place a backhand in the net.

Stead finished with 28 saves for Knoxville. Wilson stopped 23 shots for the Havoc.

Knoxville heads to Pensacola to face the Ice Flyers in the Bay Center Friday night. Huntsville hosts Roanoke Friday.

ABOUT The Knoxville Ice Bears: The Knoxville Ice Bears organization began in 2002 and was an inaugural charter member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) in 2004. As four-time SPHL Champions and five-time regular season champions, the Ice Bears are an experienced and established organization, offering the city and its visitors a balanced product of highlight-reel hockey, unique and exciting intermission activity and endless fan interaction, presenting the most affordable, family-friendly way to enjoy sports and entertainment. Season, Partial Season and Flex Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit or call (865) 525-7825.