Kyle Sharkey scored twice and the Knoxville Ice Bears fell to the Huntsville Havoc 4-1 at the Civic Coliseum Friday night.
The loss snapped a four-game skid for Knoxville. Huntsville has won two straight.
Huntsville grabbed the lead right before the first intermission when Pierre Oulette’s pass was intercepted in the Knoxville zone by Sharkey. Sharkey skated through the left circle and beat Joe Murdaca low with 51 seconds remaining in the opening period.
The Havoc extended the lead early in the second after Tyler Piacentini split two Ice Bears through the right circle and slid a backhand into the net just 1:02 into the period.
Knoxville cut the deficit in half before the break with Bryce Nielsen’s shorthanded goal at 14:38. Nielsen broke out of the zone with Anthony McVeigh, skated into the right circle and unloaded a snapshot over the blocker of Max Milosek for his 16th goal of the season.
The Ice Bears nearly tied the game in the third period with a backdoor feed to Dwyer Tschantz, but his shot was stopped with a leg save by Milosek, who also denied Nielsen from the slot a few moments later. Milosek stopped 32 shots. Murdaca made 38 saves for Knoxville.
Sy Nutkevitch beat Murdaca on a breakaway at 17:22 to make it 3-1 and Sharkey scored an empty-net goal to close out the scoring.
The two teams return to Alabama to conclude the home-and-home weekend on Saturday night.
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.