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After a back-and-forth game at the Berglund Center, Zane Steeves made 57 saves, Cole McKechney and three Roanoke players were ejected, and Dawson McKinney scored his third game-winning goal as Knoxville defeated the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs 5-4 in overtime Saturday night.

At 2:23 in the first period, Josh Nenadal was ejected from the game after an altercation with McKechkney. McKechkney lost his footing and Nenadal continued to throw punches while both skaters were on the ground. 

McKechney was ejected at 3:29 in the third period after referee Scott Gaffney called for a penalty on Levac in the neutral zone. Immediately following the stop in play, CJ Stubbs and Steven Alvo jumped McKechney. Owen McDade jumped in, tackling Mckechney to the ground. McKechney, Alvo, and McDade were ejected from the game. Knoxville was left with 3 players on the ice, handing Roanoke a two-man advantage.

Brenden Stanko shot from the right circle at 18:27 of the third, bringing the game to a tie at 4-4. The Rail Yard Dawgs had just pulled their goalie, putting six men on the ice as Knoxville competed with only three skaters following McKechney’s ejection. 

At 0:51 of post-regulation play, McKinney scored off a rebound by lifting a backhand into a yawning net. Mckinney took the puck up the right side of the ice and fed it to Tyler Rollo out front. Mckinney then rebounded Rollo’s shot to secure Knoxville’s third win in its last four games.

Just 2:21 into the first period, Justin Levac scored on a breakaway. Levac took control of the puck near the left point and skated down the slot trailed by two Rail Yard Dawgs. He made the backhanded shot on the right side of the crease to give Knoxville a 1-0 lead. 

McDade made his first goal at 14:16 of the first period. Roanoke regained control of the puck after McKinney took a spill on the farside boards. McDade was fed the puck in the trapezoid where he wrapped it into the left side of the net, tying the game at 1-1.

Less than two minutes after Roanoke tied the game, McDade scored his second goal of the night. Derek Osik lost his stick at Roanoke’s blue line and turned over the puck to Jonathan Bartuccio-Pereira. He skated to the right circle and sent the puck back to McDade at the point, where he beat Steeves’ glove to make it 2-1.

Knoxville was outshot 22-6 in the first period. 

At 4:07 of the second, McKechney sent the puck into the top left corner of the net, tying the game at 2-2. After a lost face-off, Ensor regained the puck in the right circle and passed it to McKechney, where he found the open shot in front of the net. 

McKinney retook a 3-2 lead for Knoxville at 15:33 of the second. Tyler Rollo passed McKinney the puck as he slid into the slot and shot it from the left side of the crease, lifting it over Austyn Roudebush.

At 17:30 of the second period, Billy Roche answered McKinney’s score with a one-timer from the blue line, tying the game at 3-3.

Knoxville was outshot 23-8, and Steeves finished the second period with a total of 42 saves through 40 minutes. 

After killing off two power plays at the start of the third period, the Ice Bears took back their lead. Levac intercepted a deflected pass in the neutral zone, where he fed Brett Mecrones the puck in the left circle. Mecrones sent the puck into the net, bringing the score to 4-3 at 2:15.

The Ice Bears will return to Knoxville Friday night to take on the Macon Mayhem.

Sophia Schoenfeld contributed to this report.

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.