For immediate release

Rourke Russell was named to the SPHL All-Rookie team on Wednesday. PHOTO: Michael King.

For more information, contact: Joel Silverberg, Director of Broadcasting (865) 525-7825,

The Southern Professional Hockey League announced its SPHL All-Rookie team Wednesday afternoon with Ice Bears defenseman Rourke Russell being selected to the team in a poll taken by league head coaches and team representatives.

Russell was third in the league among defensemen in points and first among rookies with 37. He began the season in Macon where he had 13 points in 20 games with the Mayhem. After being acquired by the Ice Bears in January, Russell scored seven goals and added 17 assists in 27 games as an Ice Bear.

Russell quickly became a staple on Knoxville’s blue line, often being slotted in the top defensive pairing and maintaining a +9 rating after his trade. He also established a steady role on special teams, often finding himself on the penalty kill and finishing second in the league in power play goals by a defenseman.

The Ice Bears visit Huntsville to open the President’s Cup Playoffs on Thursday night and will return to the Knoxville Civic Coliseum on Friday night for game two of the series. Game three will be Sunday night in Huntsville if necessary. Puck drop for Friday’s home game is 7:35 p.m. Tickets are available at or through TicketMaster.

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.