The Knoxville Ice Bears fell to the top seeded Fayetteville FireAntz 5-4 Friday night inside the Civic Coliseum.
The Ice Bears had played the FireAntz just one day before, losing by a larger margin of 8-2. But on Friday, a new plan yielded most of the Ice Bears' scores in the first period. The rest of the game was a back and forth affair. Here's more now from knoxvilleicebears.com.
In the first period winger Berkley Scott kicked off the scoring at 14:07 with a power play goal as he released a howitzer of a wrist shot from 25 feet out.
Carrying a 1-0 lead, the Ice Bears continued their assault as rookie forward Peter Neal picked up a puck that eluded two defenders after a tenacious forecheck from Ice Bears forwards Brett Valliquette and Tyler Fernandez. Neal ripped a quick release into the top right corner past a helpless netminder to increase the Ice Bears lead to 2-0 at 15:29. Less than 20 seconds later, Ice Bears forward Eric Satim picked off an errant pass from a Fayetteville defender and wristed a shot that beat Madolora for a 3-0 lead.
After an extended intermission which featured Wiener Dog races, the FireAntz proceed to chip away at the Ice Bears' lead. The FireAntz had goals scored by Ben Contini, John Clewlow and Andrew Smale to knot the game at 3 after two periods of play.
The third period saw more of the second period FireAntz as they proceeded to notch two more goals which were scored by Smale and Bobby Reed to put the FireAntz up 5-3 with 12:52 remaining in game.
The Ice Bears would not to go away quietly as they cut the lead in half at 10:58 of the third period. Satim notched his second goal of the evening when he picked up a loose puck from a scramble in front of the FireAntz net to draw within one. Despite a power play for two minutes and playing the final minute with an extra attacker after Ice Bears goaltender Conner Toomey was pulled, Knoxville was unable to pull even to force overtime.
The Ice Bears travel to Augusta Saturday to take on the RiverHawks at 7:35 pm.