KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- The Knoxville Ice Bears solidified two points in the standings with a 5-1 win over Fayetteville in front of a passionate, pink-clad crowd of 4,617.
After a first period highlighted with Ice Bears big men Kevin Flather and Brad Pawlowski both winning bouts, the Ice Bears found themselves up 1-0. A blistering slap shot from the stick of Tyler Fernandez found the twine less than 10 seconds after Pawlowski squared off with Fayetteville pugilist Tyler Matheson. Eric Satim hit Fernandez with a pass in the slot as the Ice Bears dynamic duo struck again.
Brendan Taylor made his presence known with two goals in an action packed second period. At the 12:58 mark, Nate Peterson attempted a one timer off a pass from Emery Olauson. The puck ricocheted off the pad off net minder Kyle Rank and Taylor was in front and bunted it home for his second goal of the season.
A Knoxville break away led by Captain David Segal turned into a textbook tic-tac-toe scoring play. After bringing the puck into the Ice Bears offensive zone, Segal dropped it back to Olauson who crossed it to Taylor as he once again found the back of the net to put Knoxville up 3-0.
The Ice Bears showed no signs of slowing their scoring frenzy once the third period was under way. One minute after the period began, Fernandez gave Knoxville an insurmountable 4-0 lead on an even strength goal. Peter Neal dumped the puck into the corner and Satim outskated the competition to recover it and walk it through the FireAntz defensemen. He fired a shot off the blocker of Rank which rebounded to Fernandez as he crashed the net. After Fernandez found his footing and wristed a shot, Rank did not have a chance as the puck rocketed over his right shoulder.
To top off an evening of fireworks, Knoxville’s leading scorer earned the first Ice Bear hat trick of the season. Shaun Arvai hit Olauson with a cross ice pass who then hit Fernandez on the tape. Fernandez outworked Rank for the third time of the night as his slap shot led the Ice Bears to a 5-0 lead.
Connor Toomey shut down the FireAntz and had the crowd thinking shutout until the 14:09 mark of the third period as Fayetteville scored its lone goal. Toomey saved 41 shots on 42 opportunities for Knoxville.
The Ice Bears recaptured the league lead in attendance after three straight Saturdays of colossal crowds. Knoxville will be back on home ice Thursday, February 28th as they host the Hockey Superfan version of $1,000 Thursdays. One ultimate hockey fan will walk away with $1,000 from the Knoxville Ice Bears, so buy your ticket and gather your best hockey attire for your chance to win.
To order tickets call 865-656-4444 or visit www.knoxvilletickets.com.
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