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

Dino Balsamo (left), Rourke Russell (center) and Justin MacDonald (7) were each selected to the All-SPHL Teams Thursday. PHOTO: Michael King.

The Southern Professional Hockey League announced its All-SPHL Teams Thursday afternoon with Ice Bears forwards Justin MacDonald and Dino Balsamo, and defenseman Rourke Russell all being selected by a poll comprised of league coaches and team representatives. MacDonald and Russell were selected to the First Team while Balsamo was voted to the Second Team.

MacDonald led the league in scoring with 79 points despite missing 11 games over the course of the year. He’s the second player in SPHL history—and first in 15 years—to lead the league in both goals (34) and assists (45) in the same season. Earlier this year, he became just the second player in league history to be named SPHL Player of the Month in consecutive months. His 1.72 points per game average is the 9th-highest in SPHL history.

Balsamo was third in the league with 66 points and tied for second in goals with 27. He had four games in which he tallied four points or more, including a five-point game against Macon on Mar. 19. His three-point performance against Roanoke on Apr. 7 gave him 150 career points in his third SPHL season.

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.

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.