KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (team release) -- Sharp passing, hard hitting and a potent third period from Emery Olauson lifted the Ice Bears with a 5-3 win over the Mississippi Surge in Knoxville’s Civic Coliseum tonight. Knoxville opened their regular season against the Surge, who knocked them out of the 2010-2011 playoffs.
Mississippi was first to find the back of the net when Adam Stuart wrapped the puck from behind the goal and stuffed past returning Ice Bears goalie Bryan Hince just 1:11 into the first period.
Five minutes later team captain Kevin Swider announced his return to the SPHL by scoring his first goal of the regular season to tie the game. Swider was assisted by Jeremy Klaver, who is playing on a 3-game tryout agreement with the Ice Bears, and Dan Bremner. Immediately after the goal Bremner continued his three-game fight streak with a one sided tilt with Mississippi’s Billy Siers.
Mississippi answered quickly to take a 2-1 lead. Then 11:40 into the period Kyle VanDermale, who played 3 games with the Ice Bears at the end of last season, backhanded the puck to rookie Steve Wielder, who knocked it in for a 2 all score. Paul Holder was also credited with the assist.
The Ice Bears finished the period ahead 3-2 after returning Ice Bears center Eric Slais faked a shot on the left, kept the puck, and shot on the right to an open net. Eric Satim assisted the goal.
Both teams skated in a scoreless second period. Knoxville outshot Mississippi 24 to 14 after 40 minutes.
Olauson quickly broke the silence from the second period with a goal 19 seconds into the third, with assists from Josh Boyd and Swider. Olauson grabbed the puck as it bounced in front of the net and tipped it in.
At the 1:10 minute mark, Mississippi goalie Nick Eno was blocking a shot from defensive favorite Mark Van Vliet on the left and Olauson picked up the puck and knocked it in for his second goal in 51 seconds and a 5-2 lead.
The Surge managed one final goal past Hince with a shot by Scott Jenks to finish the scoring at 5-3. Ice Bears pugilist and fan favorite David Segal ended the game with a fight, knocking Mississippi’s Chris Chambers to the ice.
The Knoxville Ice Bears will play their next home game on Thursday, October 27 against the Fayetteville FireAntz. Join the Ice Bears as they kick off the Halloween weekend and make sure to dress up for the costume contest for your chance to win $1,000.