KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- The Knoxville Ice Bears took the ice in the Civic Coliseum tonight to match-up with the Columbus Cottonmouths. 3,513 Knoxville fans cheered as the teams met for the sixth time this season, and for the sixth time, the Ice Bears defeated Columbus with a 2-1 victory.
The players didn’t waste any time getting physical. Ben Schoeneberger and Alex Gallant dropped their gloves 2 seconds into the first period. Brett Valliquette and Will Aide followed suit, fighting just 15 seconds later. The aggressive play continued but neither team found the back of net in the first period.
Several players were involved in a melee to kick off the second period, but no penalties were awarded. Knoxville goalie Bryan Hince made some key saves throughout the period. Columbus jumped on the board first when Hince sprawled to make the save but Matt Gingera stuffed the puck in short side and took a 1-0 lead to end the second period.
The Ice Bears returned to the third period with renewed vigor. Francis Drolet tied the game at 6:49. He picked up an errant puck, skated through the Cottonmouths’ team and snapped a wrist shot past Columbus goalie, Andrew Loewen, for an unassisted goal.
At the 13:41 mark Ben Power notched the game winning goal for the Ice Bears. Eric Satim dumped the puck around the boards and it kicked off the boards right at Power who tapped it pass an unsuspecting Loewen for the goal ahead goal. The game came full circle when Schoeneberger and Gallant squared off at the conclusion of the game.
The Knoxville Ice Bears will take the ice on Dec.30 for the first Monday night game in Ice Bears history. They will skate host the Fayetteville FireAntz. Monday is Faith and Family Night at the Coliseum. Bring your church bulletin for $2 off a silver-level ticket and Family Four Packs will be available for this game only $44 – includes 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 soft drinks. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.