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Knoxville’s comeback attempt fell short in the final minute of regulation as the Ice Bears fell to the Evansville Thunderbolts 6-4 Saturday night at the Civic Coliseum.

Knoxville has lost 11 straight, extending the longest winless streak in franchise history. Evansville has won its last four.

Evansville scored with a backdoor pass from Aiden Wagner to Vadim Vasjonkin on the right side of the crease. Wagner’s pass found Vasjonkin behind Zane Steeves and the puck appeared to go in off of Vasjonkin’s skate, but was not ruled to have been with an illegal kicking motion.

Benjamin Lindberg scored less than a minute later when his shot from the point was deflected into the net over Steeves at 11:46. Wagner made it 3-0 40 seconds later when he finished off a 3-on-1 on the back doorstep.

Logan Coomes scored to get Knoxville on the board at 12:15. Seth Ensor sent the puck back to the right point to Joshua Karlsson. Karlsson deked an Evansville skater and fired a shot from the left circle. The puck bounced off the wall and to the right side of the crease where Coomes put back the rebound.

Nicholas Presita scored with a wrist shot from the right circle to make it 4-1 at the end of the first period. Steeves was pulled after the first period and finished with 15 saves.

Michael Douglas made it a four-goal lead for Evansville when his shot from the left point was deflected by Troy Murray. The puck went high into the air and came down behind Marco Costantini and into the net less than two minutes into the second.

Mathieu Boislard tapped in a goal to cut the deficit back to three at 6:20. Logan Coomes shot the puck from the right circle, got his own rebound on the right side and made a between-the-legs feed to the front of the crease where Boislard followed up the play for his first goal as an Ice Bear.

Tyler Rollo made it a two-goal game at the break when Dawson McKinney fed him the puck in the slot and he beat Cole Ceci’s glove at 16:36.

Rex Moe cut the deficit to one early in the third with a redirect off a backdoor pass from Kirill Nizhnikov just 54 seconds in right after Knoxville’s power play expired. Nizhnikov fired a wrist shot from the right circle moments later that got through Ceci, but changed direction as it skipped in the crease and stayed out of the net.

The Ice Bears threatened late, but Ceci stopped Rollo from the blue line and turned aside a hard shot on the short-side post by Coomes. Lincoln Hatten scored on an empty net with eight seconds remaining to cap off the scoring.

Costantini made 17 saves for Knoxville. Ceci stopped 28 shots for the Thunderbolts.

Knoxville visits Birmingham on Monday afternoon. Evansville is off until it plays Peoria on Saturday.

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.