FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WVLT/SUBMITTED) – The Ice Bears had two disallowed goals in the third period to prevent Knoxville from drawing even as they fell to the Fayetteville FireAntz 6-3.
Through the ebbs and flow of an SPHL 56 game season, all great teams must learn overcome adversity. The Knoxville Ice Bears are currently hitting the bumps in the road in pursuit of an SPHL championship. Tuesday's game in Fayetteville show flashes of the high flying team from the first half of the season but were unable to walk away with the victory.
Fayetteville jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a fluky shorthanded goal by Mike Forgie. Kevin Swider tied it up the game with a quick deke on the FireAntz defenseman and roofed the puck past Fayetteville’s netminder Mike Brown. Fayetteville regained the lead just over a minute later on a goal by Josh McQuade and a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes play.
Fayetteville struck early in the second period on a goal by Kyle McNeil just 1:17 into play. Knoxville’s shifty rookie Eric Satim cut into the lead with a wraparound goal on a beaten Brown. The FireAntz scored their fourth goal at 5:24 of the period forcing Knoxville’s head coach Mike Craigen to replace starting goalie Nick Niedert with Jesse Kallechy. Kallechy gave up his only goal when Fayetteville’s Jesse Biduke scored their fifth goal of the game on bizarre play.
The third period saw a pressing Ice Bears team. Knoxville scored one goal by Eric Slais and had two goals disallowed that would have tied the game. With a history of finishing strong in the third period, coach Craigen pulled Kallechy in an attempt to notch two late goals to force overtime. The strategy did not work as planned and Fayetteville scored an empty net goal to seal victory at 6-3.
Join the Ice Bears on January 27th at 7:30 pm as Knoxville hosts the Fayetteville FireAntz for the return of Pink in the Rink. The Ice Bears will don special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game - a portion of the proceeds from the jerseys will benefit Knoxville Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.