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03/08/2019 9:20 PM -

Knoxville, TN (March 8, 2019) Newcomer Blake O’Neill scored at 13:04 of the third to put Knoxville up for good and the Ice Bears held off the Peoria Rivermen 5-3 on Friday at the Civic Coliseum.

Bryce Nielsen, Stefan Brucato, Lonnie Clary and Marcus Ortiz also scored for Knoxville. Cody Porter made 29 saves in his first home game in Knoxville.

Peoria opened the scoring on the power play when Ben Oskroba hit a low one-timer from the high slot that found its way through traffic and past the right pad of Porter at 7:34 of the first. The Rivermen increased the lead after a scramble for the puck in the crease eventually resulted in Justin Greenberg poking it into the net seven minutes later.

Knoxville answered late in the period with Nielsen’s rebound goal with less than two minutes remaining in the opening frame. Stanislav Dzakhov fired a shot from the left corner that bounced off the pad of Stephen Klein. The puck bounced out toward the left circle and Nielsen sent it by Klein’s glove to cut the deficit in half.

The Rivermen appeared to have pushed the lead back to two again, but a goal swatted in out of the air was waived off due to a high stick in the second period. Peoria got one that counted later in the period when Austin Vieth threw the puck on net from the right end line and it slipped past Porter.

Brucato brought the Ice Bears back to within one with a shorthanded goal as he weaved his way down the left side and cut back across the slot. He was tripped up, but managed to get a shot off from his knees in the right circle. The puck hit Kevin Patterson’s skate and slipped between Klein’s pads with two minutes left in the second.

The Ice Bears tied the game with a redirect from Clary at 6:47 of the third. Clary tipped Doug Rose’s shot from the blue line over Klein’s left pad for his first career professional goal. O’Neill gave Knoxville their first lead with a wrist shot from the right point for his first goal since signing an amateur tryout in late February. Ortiz added an empty net goal with 45 seconds remaining.

The two teams face off again on Saturday night at the Civic Coliseum for Disney Night with the Ice Bears – costumes, characters, and a chance with win a family vacation. Family 4 Packs for only $60 include 4 tickets and 4 hats.  To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com.

ABOUT The Knoxville Ice Bears: 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. Season, Partial Season and Flex Tickets are now on sale.  For more information, visit www.knoxvilleicebears.com or call (865) 525-7825.

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About Icebears

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.

Contact Us

865.525.7825