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Austin Martinsen and Robbie Fisher scored in the third period for Huntsville and the Ice Bears were eliminated from the President’s Cup playoffs with a 3-2 loss to the Havoc in game two of the first round series. Huntsville wins the series 2-0 and advances to the semifinals.
Fisher gave Huntsville the lead for good with a little more than five minutes remaining in the third when he poked the puck free along the left wing, carried it up the zone and fired a wrist shot that went into the net off of Kristian Stead.
Huntsville scored by stealing a loose puck in the Knoxville slot and converting the scoring chance into a Rob Darrar goal just 2:21 into the game. Rourke Russell was skating back in the Knoxville zone when he bumped into referee Robert Peterkin, causing Russell’s pass to sit in the slot where Darrar pounced on it and beat Stead with a wrist shot.
Tanner Salsberry blasted a one-timer from the left wing to beat Max Milosek down low and tie the game at 12:37 of the second. Dominick Procopio slipped in the Huntsville zone and Colton Fletcher picked up the puck. Fletcher worked his way through the zone and set Salsberry up for the goal.
Razmuz Waxin-Engback gave Knoxville the lead with a one-timer in the high slot less than five minutes later. Fletcher won the puck in the corner and fed it to Salsberry at the point. Salsberry immediately sent it across the zone to Nolan Slachetka on the left side. Slachetka tapped it the Waxin-Engback to find the back of the net and give Knoxville a 2-1 edge at the second intermission.
Knoxville nearly had a 3-1 lead at the break, but Dino Balsamo’s shot off a two-on-one was stopped by a sliding Milosek, who managed to get a pad on the shot.
Martinsen tied the game at 6:52 of the third with a one-timer from the left circle after Darrar won the puck off the wall and slid it to him.
The Ice Bears had several chances to tie the game late, but couldn’t convert a pair of power plays. Knoxville finished 0-6 on the man advantage and 1-11 in the series.
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 www.knoxvilleicebears.com or call (865) 525-7825.