KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Knoxville Ice Bears hosted the Huntsville Havoc tonight in the Civic Coliseum in front of 2,893 Knoxville hockey fans. The Ice Bears ended their three game losing streak, beating the Huntsville Havoc 4-2.
The Ice Bears were first on the score board. With a 5-on-4 advantage, Francis Drolet redirected the puck past Havoc goalie Kevin Genoe for a 1-0 lead at 4:43. Ben Power and Mark Van Vliet were credited with the assist.
Huntsville tied the game at 1, just under 9 minutes later, with a power play goal while Lucas Schramm was in the box. Justin Cseter put Huntsville into a 2-1 lead with 4:53 left in the first period.
At the 17:41 minute mark Brady Vandenberk notched his first goal of the season with a slapshot from the left. Jason Price and Cody Dion assisted the tying goal. Then with just 46.6 seconds left of play, Phil Bronner pushed Knoxville into the lead to end the first period. Vandenberk and Eric Satim were first and second assist.
Both teams held serve in the second period despite a penalty filled middle stanza. Knoxville goaltender, Bryan Hince, stopped all seven of Huntsville’s shots on goal, and the Ice Bears entered the final period still leading.
Knoxville’s defense continued to shut down Huntsville’s scoring threats in the third. Hince turning away eight shots on goal, and the Ice Bears killed off two power plays. In a last effort to tie the game, Huntsville pulled their goalie with 1:20 remaining in the game. But the extra attacker didn’t help the Havoc. Dion notched his tenth goal of the season and finished off the game with an empty-netter with 9.7 seconds left.
The Knoxville Ice Bears return to the Coliseum on Saturday, Dec. 28, to verse the Columbus Cottonmouths. The puck drops at 7:30 for Kids Run the Show night! Young Ice Bears fans will pair up with staff members and help run all of the game operations. Saturday is also Autism Awareness night.
Mercedes-Benz 3 Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Brady Vandenberk (Knoxville)
2nd Star: Francis Drolet (Knoxville)
3rd Star: Phil Bronner (Knoxville)