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Ice Bears Sink Rivermen 5-2 in Front of Sold Out Crowd

Scott Cuthrell and Josh Pietrantonio each had a goal and an assist and the Knoxville Ice Bears beat the Peoria Rivermen 5-2 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum Saturday night.

The Ice Bears have won two straight. The loss was Peoria’s second in a row and the first time all season the Rivermen have dropped back-to-back games in regulation.

Peoria struck first when Jordan Carvalho knocked in a loose puck in the Knoxville crease at 7:39 of the first. Skyler Smutek carried the puck through the right circle before Joseph Murdaca stopped his initial shot, but Carvalho cleaned up the rebound to give the Rivermen an early lead.

Lucas Bombardier tied the game for Knoxville by redirecting Jason Price’s blast from the left point at 13:44. Josh Pietrantonio gave the Ice Bears their first lead less than a minute later with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that zipped over the right shoulder of Ryland Pashovitz.

Dwyer Tschantz was credited with a goal with seven seconds remaining in the first after Riley Christensen’s shot was stopped and the puck sat on the edge of the crease. A trio of skaters crashed the blue ice and the puck was knocked into the net to give Knoxville a 3-1 lead.

Brian Bachnak scored the only goal of the second period on a rebound at 18:38. Anthony McVeigh’s shot was blocked by Pashovitz and the rebound came out to the right side where Bachnak was waiting for it to get his second goal of the year.

Alec Hagaman cut Knoxville’s lead to two with a backhand at 8:36 of the third. Carvalho fed Hagaman in the slot from the right corner and Hagaman buried the shot to make it 4-2.

Peoria scored on its own empty net at 18:47 to close out the scoring. Murdaca finished with 38 saves for Knoxville. Pashovitz stopped 17 shots for Peoria.

The two teams will resume the weekend series Sunday in Knoxville. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. EST.

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.