KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- The Knoxville Ice Bears defeated the Mississippi RiverKings 4-3 in front of a near capacity crowd of 4,471.
The Knoxville Ice Bears jumped out in front early for the second consecutive game despite registering only five shots in the first period. Eric Satim outworked two RiverKings defenders along the boards to feed a pass to Brett Valliquette, who was camped out alone front of the Mississippi goal as he buried the puck past Matthew Krahn.
Satim extended the lead to 2-0 as he redirected a shot from linemate Tyler Fernandez at :24 of the second period. Knoxville forced the play for the next 15 minutes by controlling the neutral zone and dominating along the boards. The Ice Bears managed to kill off a 5-on-3 for 87 seconds. Fernandez increased the Ice Bears’ lead to 3-0 with a sneaky wrist shot along the ice while Knoxville was on the power play.
It looked as if Knoxville was going to head into the locker room with a comfortable lead after 40 minutes of play but the RiverKings had other plans. Matt Whitehead scored at 18:07 and 45 seconds later Chris Campanale to end the period with the Ice Bears leading 3-2.
The Ice Bears jumped back out in the third period when Stephen Wiedler scored the goal of the year. Wiedler collected the puck off an errant pass from Mississippi then proceeded to skate the puck back behind his net then carry the puck from coast-to-coast eluding every RiverKings defender to slip the puck through the legs of Krahn.
Mississippi made things interesting for the final nine minutes of play when RiverKings defenseman Kyle Lundale scored at 10:55 off a one-timer while Knoxville was killing a penalty. Mississippi pressed but was unable to draw even as Ice Bears goaltender Connor Toomey shut the door to seal victory at 4-3.
The Ice Bears will be back on home ice on Thursday, Jan. 24 for $1000 Thursdays presented by NewsTalk 98.7 WOKI. $1000 will be awarded to one lucky fan. Dress in your favorite 60’s, 70’s or 80’s regalia to increase your chances of winning. Friday, Jan. 25th the Ice Bears will crown the 2013 Knoxville Ice Bears Hockey Mom as part of Mom’s Day sponsored by Star 102.1.