KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (team release) -- The Knoxville Ice Bears swamp the IceGators 5-2 in a rematch on Saturday in front of near sellout crowd of 4,320. The Ice Bears withstood an onslaught of 37 shots en route to their victory.
The Ice Bears got off to a slow start in the first period and did not register their first shot until 8:29 left in the period. The IceGators jumped out to an early lead on a goal from former Ice Bear Josh Boyd on the power play with 1:35 left in the period.
Knoxville answered back with a quick goal in front of the net by a helmetless Eric Satim with only 18.7 seconds left in the first period to tie the game at 1.
The second period started with gloves off. David Segal squared off with James Morgan who held an 8” and 75 pound advantage. The undersized Segal withstood the initial attack and finished with Ice Bears pugilist subduing his opponent.
Segal’s five for fighting penalty gave him the record for most penalty minutes among all Ice Bears players, surpassing his coach Mike Craigen who previously held the record. The goal-less middle period ended with just eight shots on goal for the Ice Bears and 27 for the Louisiana Ice Gators after 40 minutes of play.
The third period was a rush of excitement in front of the IceGators’ net. Just 4:24 into the third period, Ice Bears’ defenseman Mark Van Vliet took a slap shot from inside the slot and scored with assists from Emery Olauson and Dan Bremner giving the home team their first lead of the game 2-1. Tyler Fletcher added to the Ice Bears score by slipping one past Gator’s goalie BJ O’Brien to push the lead to 3-1.
IceGator Robert Short was able to cut into the Ice Bears lead and score a power play goal after a tripping penalty by Segal. Just over 8 minutes later, Olauson ripped a shot right under the crossbar to regain the two goal lead.
With just 1:15 left in the third, Tyler Fletcher scored his second goal of the game on an empty net making the final score 5-2 giving Knoxville their first home win of 2012. Ice Bears goalie Jesse Kallechy stopped 34 of 36 shots tonight earning the 3rd star of the game.
In pregame activities tonight was the Ice Bears Legends game. The Orange team won 7-5 in a fun filled exhibition featuring great Ice Bears heroes.
The Ice Bears will return to home ice on January 20th where they will face off against Columbus for their annual Baby Derby presented by Food City. Puck drops at 7:30 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum.