SPHL Southern Professional Hockey League

Ice Bears fall to Augusta, 4-3

on Dec 16, 2012
Ice Bears fall to Augusta, 4-3

By Dave Link, Knoxville News Sentinel

Augusta sure didn't look like a last-place team in the Southern Professional Hockey League standings on Saturday night.

Goalie Robert Moss had 46 saves on 49 shots as the RiverHawks beat the Knoxville Ice Bears 4-3 in front of 3,551 fans at Civic Coliseum.

Augusta (5-11-3) entered the game in a three-way tie for last place in the SPHL.

"That's a lot different looking last-place team than they were when they were going through that tough stretch," Ice Bears coach Mike Craigen said. "They made some real positive changes over there and they're playing better hockey. This league, any team can beat anybody anywhere."

Augusta, which was 0-8-1 in its first nine games, played without captain Matt Auffrey. He was home with his wife, who is expecting their child.

"Our guys are playing better hockey right now," Augusta coach Mark Richards said. "They're competing at least. I know (Knoxville) heavily out-shot us. They're a tough team to play in here. We were missing our captain tonight so it was even a little more special for us."

Ice Bears goalie Connor Toomey had 21 saves on 25 shots.

Augusta scored three goals in the third period for a 4-1 lead with 4:54 left — then withstood a late rally by the Ice Bears.

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