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Ice Bears Lose Force Battle with Columbus

02/04/2017 8:22 PM -

Ice Bears Lose Force Battle with Columbus

For immediate release - For more information, contact:

Dave Feather, Executive VP
(865) 525-7825 // (865) 254-7825


Knoxville, TN (February 04, 2017) Keegan Bruce scored while on the penalty kill with 10:50 remaining, just 27 seconds after the Knoxville Ice Bears had a potential game-winning goal disallowed. The Columbus Cottonmouths defeated the Ice Bears 4-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 5,230. 

The Ice Bears thought they had broken a 3-3 tie with 12:17 left in the game, but Andrew Bonazza’s blast from the point was waived off for goaltender interference. Moments later, Bruce took the puck in the zone through three defenders and his close-range shot popped high in the air and landed in the crease before skidding into the net.

Columbus entered the third period trailing 3-2 but erased the deficit with Petr Senkerik’s power play goal from the blue line at 6:28. Columbus’ two third period goals came off of only three shots. 

Knoxville struck early after a shot was blocked and Jason Price corralled the puck towards the top of the left circle. Price’s snap shot glanced off Lukas Hafner’s glove on its way to the upper-right corner of the net just 1:20 into the game. Bonazza controlled a high bouncing puck behind the Columbus defense and beat Hafner five-hole with a backhand to extend the lead at 13:44. 

The Cottonmouths got on the board with just under three minutes remaining in the first when Senkerik won the puck in the Knoxville corner and fed it to Evan Neugold in the left circle. Neugold’s cross-ice pass found an open Derek Gingera backdoor for an easy goal to cut the deficit in half going into the dressing room. 

Columbus nearly tied the game on a short-handed breakaway chance, but Dylan Wells denied Gingera in the crease. The rebound was taken by Price, whose outlet pass to Mark Pustin cleared the zone. Pustin accelerated up the right wing and hit Robbie Donahoe with a pass in the high slot. Donahoe’s wrist shot beat Hafner to extend Knoxville’s lead to 3-1. Wells ended up stopping three breakaway shots throughout the game. 

The Knoxville Ice Bears return to action on Friday when they host the Macon Mayhem for “Teacher Appreciation Night.”  Students can nominate their teacher for two free tickets to Friday’s game.  Visit KnoxvilleIceBears.com to cast your vote.  Saturday is the Knoxville Ice Bears Wiener Dog Race Night, this game has sold out for 13 straight years.  To order tickets call 865-656-4444 or visit knoxvilletickets.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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