01/05/2019 9:00 PM -
Knoxville, TN (January 5, 2019) Liam Kerins scored twice, including the overtime winner and the Ice Bears rallied to defeat the Birmingham Bulls 5-4 on Saturday at the Civic Coliseum.
Knoxville overcame a two-goal deficit with three and a half minutes remaining. Mike Davis and Austin Daae score just over two minutes apart late in the third period for Birmingham to give the Bulls a 4-2 lead.
Brandon McMartin fired a laser from the blue line with the extra attacker on the ice to cut Knoxville’s deficit to one with 2:12 remaining. Scott Cuthrell punched in the game-tying goal to force overtime with seven seconds left. Cuthrell finished with a goal and two assists.
After Hayden Stewart made back-to-back saves early in the overtime period, Cuthrell carried the puck down the right wing and fed it to Kerins in the neutral zone. Kerins progressed through the left circle and lifted the puck past Mavric Parks to complete the comeback. Stewart finished with 19 saves.
With Stewart pulled and the Ice Bears still down by one in the final minute Birmingham collected the puck and sent it down the length of the ice for an attempt on the empty net, but the puck hit the post. Another try by the Bulls moments later sailed wide and the whistle was blown for icing with 12 seconds left on the clock.
Five seconds later Cuthrell forced overtime.
Knoxville opened the scoring when Lucas Bombardier was behind the net with the puck and he found Kerins in the high slot. Kerins’ wrist shot beat Parks at 12:09 of the first to give Knoxville the first lead of the game.
With the puck in Birmingham’s right corner Cuthrell fired it towards the crease and it was deflected by Parks toward the slot. Parks slipped and David Brancik picked up the puck and fired it into the net before Parks could recover to give Knoxville a 2-0 lead at 5:50 of the second.
Daae responded for Birmingham 15 seconds later with a rebound off the left side of the crease for his first of two goals on the night. Nick Owen scored from the blue line later in the period to tie the game heading into the second intermission.
Knoxville heads to Quad City to take on the Storm for three games in three nights beginning on Friday. Birmingham will be on the road next Friday to take on Macon.
The Knoxville Ice Bears organization began in 2002 and was an inaugural charter member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) in 2004. As four-time SPHL Champions, the Ice Bears are an experienced and established organization, offering the city and its visitors a balanced product of highlight-reel hockey, unique and exciting intermission activity and endless fan interaction, presenting the most affordable, family-friendly way to enjoy sports and entertainment.