Knoxville, TN (SUBMITTED) -- Ice Bears home ice is not friendly to visiting teams, but not even a crowd of 3,231 fans could help Knoxville charm the Columbus Cottonmouths, who handed the team their third loss in three games.
The Cottonmouths came into the game winning only once this season- against Knoxville in Columbus. Tensions were high from the start, when David Segal squared off with Columbus’s Peter MacDougall just 3 seconds into the first period.
Jesse Cole earned the first goal of the game on a power play, bringing Columbus to a 1-0 lead. Knoxville only had 8 shots on goal in the first period, none of which made it past Columbus goalie Ian Vigier.
Knoxville Goalie Andrew Gallant started the second period with quick stops until Columbus’s Mitch Wall snuck the puck past his pads for his first goal of the season, Columbus’s second power play goal of the night.
Segal roughed up again in the second period, this time with the Cottonmouth’s center Sam Bowles. Just as the two were sent to the penalty boxes, the Ice Bears grabbed their only goal of the game skating 4-on-4. The goal was Ice Bear’s captain Mike Bulawka’s second of the season. He was assisted by Chris Pontes and Dallas Costanzo.
Columbus was quick to respond, sneaking the puck around the corner of the net. Just 25 seconds later, Wall scored the Cottonmouth’s fourth goal of the night.
The Ice Bears came back energized for the third period, with rookie goalie Bryan Hince in net. The players stepped up their offense making sharp shots and defense tightened, pressuring the Cottonmouths, but it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback. Columbus scored their final point in a crowded scuffle around the goal, ending the game with a 5-1 win against Knoxville.
Knoxville will take on league leaders Huntsville Havoc on Sunday, November 14. Puck drops at 5 p.m.
Mercedes-Benz Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Mitch Wall (Columbus)
2nd Star: Sam Bowles (Columbus)
3rd Star: Ian Vigier (Columbus)
Courtesy: Knoxville Ice Bears