Ice Bears shake up goaltending for playoffs

Knoxville, TN (–The Knoxville Ice Bears have waived goaltender Andrew Gallant and signed Thomas Lee to a contract.

Gallant, 28, has been a member of the Knoxville Ice Bears for three seasons and was a member of the 2009 President’s Cup championship team. He has spent the bulk of his professional career with the Ice Bears appearing in 94 games and earning 50 wins with a 3.11 GAA (Goals Against Average) and a .908 SV% (Save Percentage).

Andrew’s most successful season came during the 2008-09 season when he won 20 games while posting a stingy 2.61 GAA and .924 SV% in route to winning his first SPHL President’s trophy.

“Gally has had some great years as an Ice Bear and was an excellent person and teammate. This was a tough decision for us from both a timing and emotional standpoint, but these are the realities of the industry we’re involved in.” Commented Head Coach Mike Craigen, “Due to a recent SPHL ruling that dealt with player pay reductions and with us having Mark Van Vliet and Emery Olauson ready to be activated from the IR, I was forced into freeing up some salary cap space. This move is a direct result of that.”

Knoxville has signed rookie goaltender Thomas Lee from Port Perry, ONT. Lee has spent part of the 2010-11 season with the Fayetteville FireAntz and the Pensacola Ice Flyers. With the Ice Flyers, he posted a 9-3 record in 12 games and was released on February 9, 2011.

“Tommy is a young, hungry and very athletic goaltender who is going to come in here and provide an excellent option behind Bryan Hince for not only the final weekend and our post-season push, but hopefully for years to come in Knoxville.” Said Craigen in regard to the signing of Lee.

The final home game of the regular season is Friday, March 25, against the Fayetteville FireAntz. It is Tennessee Smokies Night presented by AAA East Tennessee with “Re-Group” specials for anyone who brought out a group the 2010-11 season.

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