Bad first period dooms Ice Bears, 5-3
By Dave Link, Knoxville News Sentinel
One bad period cost the Knoxville Ice Bears a game Thursday night.
The Ice Bears gave up four goals in the first period of a 5-3 loss to Fayetteville in a Southern Professional Hockey League game before 2,129 fans at Civic Coliseum.
Knoxville (4-2) had a four-game winning streak broken.
"It was the perfect storm," Ice Bears coach Mike Craigen said. "A lot of guys had poor (first) periods, and it all came at once. When you have seven or eight guys have really bad periods at the same time, you're not going to be able to overcome that."
The Ice Bears almost did — cutting the deficit to 4-3 on Emery Olauson's goal with 4:31 left.
Knoxville then had several shots stopped by goalie Marco Emond before Mike Gurtler's empty-net goal with 34 seconds gave the FireAntz a 5-3 lead.
Connor Toomey got his fourth consecutive start in goal for the Ice Bears for Kyle Rank, who was loaned to Cincinnati of the East Coast Hockey League on Thursday. Also, Ice Bears forward Mike Towns was loaned to Denver of the Central Hockey League.
Craigen said he isn't sure when or if Towns and Rank will return.