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Ice Bears Climb into First Place

Ice Bears Shut Out Bulls

Lionel Mauron scored a goal and had three assists, Joe Murdaca notched his third shutout of the season and the Knoxville Ice Bears beat the Birmingham Bulls 7-0 on Thursday at the Civic Coliseum.

Knoxville has won seven of its last eight games. Birmingham has lost four of its last five.

Bryce Nielsen opened the scoring on Knoxville’s first power play with a blast from the right side at 3:36. Jacob Benson scored just over two minutes later off a one-timer from the left hash after Riley Christensen fed him from across the slot.

Stefan Brucato found himself with the puck in space on the right side of the crease and flipped a backhand over Brody Claeys at 11:59 of the first. Gehrett Sargis scored just over a minute later to cap the first-period scoring after a shot hit him in the slot and he turned off the rebound and sent the puck low past Claeys at 13:02.

The fourth goal ended Claeys’ night and Birmingham head coach Jamey Hicks replaced him with Artt Brey. Claeys finished with four saves.

Charlie Granath extended Knoxville’s lead just 14 seconds into the second period when he cut towards the crease from the left point and Lionel Mauron fed him from the right corner. Granath’s one-timer slipped past Brey for the only goal of the period.

Scott Cuthrell scored at 10:53 of the third and Mauron scored his goal off a rebound from the left side of the crease on a power play with 53 seconds remaining. It was Mauron’s second straight game with a power-play goal since being activated from the IR on Saturday.

Murdaca finished 23 saves for Knoxville. Brey ended the night with 29 saves on 32 shots faced. Knoxville finished 2-3 on power plays and killed off all three of Birmingham’s.

The Ice Bears are on the road Saturday in Roanoke to take on the Rail Yard Dawgs. The Bulls also travel Saturday to Evansville.

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 or call (865) 525-7825.