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Jagger Williamson had two goals and two assists, Kristian Stead made 33 saves and the Knoxville Ice Bears defeated the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs 4-1 at the Berglund Center Thursday night.
Dino Balsamo also had two goals and two assists for Knoxville, which has won seven of its last nine games. Roanoke has dropped two straight.
Knoxville opened the scoring when Williamson pounced on a loose puck by the crease at 4:20 of the first. After the puck was lifted on net, Roanoke’s Brody Claeys turned the puck into the left corner. After a brief scrum for the puck, it was sent back towards the net, where Williamson grabbed it and lifted it over Claeys for his sixth of the year.
Spencer Kennedy tied the game for Roanoke with a rebound at 12:22. Chris Vella carried the puck into the right circle and fired a wrist shot off Stead’s right pad. The puck bounced out to the left side where Kennedy put it in off the crossbar to leave the teams with a goal apiece at first intermission.
Williamson netted his second of the night from the high slot at 6:38 of the second to give Knoxville the lead after 40 minutes. Justin MacDonald poked the puck free along the Roanoke blue line and sent it up for Balsamo. Balsamo dropped it back to MacDonald at the point and MacDonald fed a saucer pass to the middle where Williamson was waiting for it.
Roanoke had several opportunities to tie the game in the third period, but couldn’t get anything past Stead. He stopped back-to-back shots from in front of the crease, gloved a breakaway attempt by Dominiks Marcinkevics and kicked away a hard shot by Nick Ford from the right circle. Mac Jansen got alone in front of the crease with the puck, but his wrist shot sailed wide.
Balsamo added an insurance marker for Knoxville when Williamson carried the puck to the left circle and dropped it back to Balsamo. Balsamo’s shot hit Stephen Alvo and slid underneath Claeys at 8:49. Balsamo added an empty netter with 15 seconds remaining to cap off the scoring. Claeys made 26 saves for Roanoke.
The two teams will continue the three game weekend tomorrow in Roanoke.
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.