The Knoxville Ice Bears came up short to Pensacola 3-2, despite a strong effort in front of a barking crowd of 5,150.
Knoxville found itself up 1-0 after a first period which was spent primarily in the offensive zone. Bryan Hince seemed to continue right where he left off in his first game back with the Ice Bears with three saves on three shots.
Brett Valliquette scored the lone goal at the 14:08 mark of the period on an Ice Bears power play. Emery Olauson walked in a slap shot, which hit the perfectly placed stick of Valliquette. As Olauson skated in, Valliquette crashed hard to the net in a perfectly executed man advantage opportunity.
At 1:22 of the second period, Pensacola evened the score at one with a goal apiece from Ryan Raven. The Ice Flyers had more opportunities, including a 5-on-3 that Knoxville shut down. The period ended tied at one thanks to great defense and net minding by the Ice Bears.
Pensacola opened the scoring less than one minute into the third period on a full strength goal by Ryan Salvis. Knoxville answered with an extended power play goal by captain David Segal, his league leading 10th of the season. Mark Van Vliet set the play up with a pass from the point to Eric Satim in the circle. A wide open Segal received a saucer pass on the post and sent the puck off goaltender Ross MacKinnon's pad into the twine.
Pensacola took advantage of a power play opportunity at 16:29 of the third with a goal by Brent Clarke. Despite a great effort to push the game to overtime, Knoxville could not answer Clarke's goal which proved to be the game winner.