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C.J. Valerian scored with 34 seconds remaining in the game and the Ice Bears fell to Roanoke 4-3 at there Berglund Center Friday night.
The Ice Bears have lost two of three. Roanoke snapped a two-game skid with the win.
Valerian broke a 3-3 tie when Nick DeVito found him in the slot. His wrist shot went through traffic and Kristian Stead managed to get a piece of it before it went into the net.
Josh Nenadal scored early for Roanoke when he got the rebound of his own wraparound attempt and slipped it under Stead at 4:18 of the first.
Tempers flared late in the first period after Knoxville’s Rex Moe took a late hit from Roanoke’s Spencer Kennedy. Moe tailed Kennedy to Roanoke bench and a fight ensued. Moe ended up on the Roanoke bench with multiple players from both teams then getting involved in the fray. Moe and Kennedy were each given match penalties for the event. Rourke Russell and Nick Pryce were issued game misconducts for Knoxville. Dominiks Marcinkevics and Stephen Alvo were given the same for Roanoke.
After play resumed Justin MacDonald scored off a backhand from the slot with 54 seconds remaining in the first period to tie the game at the first intermission. MacDonald made his way through the left circle, found space in the slot and beat Austyn Roudebush for his 32nd goal of the year.
Razmuz Waxin-Engback scored 36 seconds into the second period to give Knoxville the lead. After a neutral zone turnover, Cole McKechney carried the puck to the slot and fired a shot low that bounced off Roudebush’s pad. The rebound came out to the left circle where Waxin-Engback put it back on net for his 6th goal of the season.
Jagger Williamson teed off on a one-timer from the high slot and kept it low to the left-side post to give the Ice Bears a 3-1 lead at 12:52.
Mac Jansen scored on a power play at 15:56 to cut the Ice Bears lead to one at the second intermission.
Knoxville’s Dino Balsamo was knocked out of the game in the third period with an elbow to the head by Roanoke’s Jarrad Vroman. Vroman was dismissed from the game as a result. C.J. Stubbs scored on a rebound shortly after the Rail Yard Dawgs killed off the major penalty to Vroman.
Knoxville had a chance to retake the lead when Colton Fletcher was driven into the boards for a boarding penalty, but the Ice Bears couldn’t convert. Stead finished with 33 saves. Roudebush made 29 stops for Roanoke.
The two teams will face off again on Saturday for their third meeting in three days at the Berglund Center.
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.