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Rex Moe had two goals and an assist in Knoxville’s win on Sunday. PHOTO: Daniel Moore.

Rex Moe scored two goals and added an assist, Justin MacDonald broke a tie with less than seven minutes remaining and the Knoxville Ice Bears held on for a 6-5 win over the Macon Mayhem at the Macon Centreplex Sunday evening.

MacDonald also had three assists for the Ice Bears, winners of three straight. Bailey Conger scored two goals and Rourke Russell had three assists against his former team.

MacDonald put the Ice Bears ahead for good with a one-timer from the right circle. Jagger Williamson pushed the puck out to the right wing in transition to MacDonald, who belted a shot that was initially stopped by Jeremie Forget. The puck came loose under Forget’s pad and as Knoxville tried to crash the crease looking for a rebound, Forget inadvertently kicked the puck into his own net.

With the score tied at three goals apiece entering the third period, Knoxville scored twice on the power play when Conger netted his second of the net after MacDonald found him alone in front of the net at 2:18. Moe scored his second when he redirected Cam Hough’s shot from the left point and deflected it between Forget’s pads at 5:48.

Macon fought back to tie the game for the second time when Tommy Munichiello scored on a rebound at 7:51. With the Mayhem on a 5-on-3 power play a shot in the slot was blocked and the loose puck came out for Munichiello to lift it over Kristian Stead. Caleb Cameron tied the game when Rhett Kingston found him in the slot with heavy traffic by the crease and his wrist shot found the net at 12:15.

That set the stage for MacDonald’s game-winner, who scored less than a minute and a half later to give Knoxville its third win in four days. MacDonald’s 22 goals and 52 points lead the SPHL.

The Ice Bears broke into the Macon zone with Moe feeding the puck to Conger in the circle. Conger dropped the puck back to Russell at the blue line, who slid it back to Conger alone in front. Conger pulled the puck back and flipped a backhand over Jeremie Forget to make it 1-0 at 6:42 of the opening period.

Moe tapped in a backdoor pass from MacDonald on the power play less than three minutes later to give the Ice Bears a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. Knoxville’s special teams unit moved the puck around the perimeter with Russell possessing it at the blue line. Russell made a crisp tape-to-tape pass along the right goal line to MacDonald, who set up Moe with an open net as Forget closed in on Knoxville’s captain.

Jacob Ratcliffe carried the puck into the right circle and fired a shot through traffic on the power play that found the net to get Macon on the board at 8:40 of the second.

Cole McKechney pushed Knoxville’s lead back to two goals when he slapped in a loose puck off the right side of the crease at 13:21. Ryan Devine’s shot from the right point was blocked and the loose puck was picked up by Nick Pryce. Pryce’s shot from the slot went wide of the net and bounced back towards the crease off the back wall where McKechney fought through traffic to put it on net for his fourth of the season. Forget made 29 stops in his Macon debut.

Macon tied the game with back-to-back goals less than a minute apart before the second intermission. A turnover in the Knoxville zone led to the Mayhem finding Devin Brink alone at the left circle for a one-timer that found the net. Jesse Anderson redirected a net front pass under Stead’s right pad to knot the score after 40 minutes. Stead finished with 40 saves as the Ice Bears were outshot 45-35.

Knoxville returns home for a doubleheader weekend against Huntsville at the Civic Coliseum on Friday and Saturday. The Mayhem visit Evansville on 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.