By Dave Link, Knoxville News Sentinel (Photo by Jim Purvis)
The Knoxville Ice Bears' scoring streak came to a halt Saturday night amid some controversy at Civic Coliseum.
Ice Bears coach Mike Craigen was ejected during the second period of a 4-1 loss to Columbus in front of 4,271 fans — many of whom came to see the annual Legends game earlier in the afternoon.
Craigen was arguing several calls with referee Joshua Greco that involved four fights during a 6-minute span of the second period.
Greco assessed Craigen a 2-minute unsportsmanlike penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct for verbal abuse and was sent to the locker room.
"I was extremely frustrated with the pattern that game was being called," Craigen said, "and it's extremely frustrating when you put 4,000 people in the building like this and one guy goes out there and changes the outcome of the game. They paid good money to see that hockey, and that referee didn't do his job tonight. That's the bottom line."
Knoxville (16-10-3) had its streak of nine consecutive games of scoring at least one point snapped by Columbus (14-11-3). It was the longest such streak in the Southern Professional Hockey League this season.