KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Knoxville Ice Bears played their 12th season home opener tonight in front of 3,672 fans at the Knoxville Coliseum against the ’12-’13 SPHL Champions, the Pensacola Ice Flyers. The Ice Bears fell 5 – 2.
Both teams played a physical first period. With 10:46 left in the period Co-Captain David Segal squared off against Pensacola’s Patrick Schafer. Both players received 7 minutes and teams remained 5-on-5.
Pensacola was first to light the lamp. Joe Caveney shot the puck on a rebound and slid it past Knoxville returning goalie Bryan Hince.
Caveney’s goal put the Ice Pilots up 1-0 at the 12:12 minute mark.
Knoxville held off Pensacola through two 5-on-4 power plays, but were not able to push past a strong Ice Flyer’s defense. Right-winger Phil Bronner hit the post but didn’t find the net to tie the game before first intermission.
The Ice Bears hit the ice in the second period on a 5-on-4 power play. They tied the game at 1 just 1:25 into the period with a power play goal by Ben Souders assisted by Segal and Jason Price. The Ice Flyers answered with a power play goal 7 minutes later when Paul Rodrigues.
With 4:43 left in the second Pensacola’s Donnie Harris scored bringing the Ice Flyers’ lead to 3-1. The Ice Bears skated a power play when Shaun Arval got 2 minutes for holding, but the Ice Flyers caught the puck and managed a short-handed goal ending the second with a 4-1 lead.
The Ice Flyers started the third skating 5-on-4 with Jason Price in the penalty box for slashing. With 16:32 left Brett Valliquette received 2 minutes for boarding. The Ice Flyers capitalized on the power play and brought their lead to 5-1.
At the 13:13 minute mark Pensacola’s Ryan Salvis squared off with Valliquette leaving the Ice Bears on a power play. Bronner got right up to the net and knocked in the puck to bring the game to the final score of 5-2.
The Ice Bears hit the road tomorrow to take on the Columbus Cottonmouths. Ice Bears fans can watch the game live at Roosters in Rocky Hill. Get your tickets for the next home game on November 15 when the Ice Bears will face the Hunstville Havoc for the first time this season. Come dressed as your favorite super hero as we honor hometown heroes. Puck drops at 7:30.
Mercedez-Benz 3 Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Joe Caveney (Pensacola)
2nd Star: Mitchell Good (Pensacola)
3rd Star: Paul Rodrigues (Pensacola)