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Macon scored four unanswered goals in the third period and the Knoxville Ice Bears fell to the Mayhem 7-5 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum Friday night.
The Ice Bears have dropped three straight games, giving up seven goals in each loss. Knoxville has scored five goals or more in each of its last three games.
Rourke Russell scored to put the Ice Bears ahead early when he pounced on a loose puck in the slot at 3:16. Dino Balsamo fed the puck across the zone to the right circle to Brett Ouderkirk. Ouderkirk’s return feed bounced off a skate and came free for Russell, who put it past Trevor Martin for his seventh of the year.
Rex Moe extended Knoxville’s lead when he slipped the puck past Martin at 5:31. Bailey Conger stole a breakout pass in the Macon zone and passed it to Moe, who slid it tough the right circle back to Conger. Conger muscled his way to the slot and dropped the puck back to Moe, who tucked it into the lower left-hand corner.
Macon tied the game before the first intermission with two goals less than three minutes apart. Jesse Anderson scored off a backdoor feed and Timothy Faulkner found the upper right corner from the right point off a face off in the Knoxville zone.
Knoxville jumped back in front with Moe’s second of the night on the power play at 2:18 of the second. Conger held the puck in the right circle and slipped it to the backdoor step where Moe was waiting for it.
Faulkner notched his second of the night moments later from the slot.
Razmuz Waxin-Engback scored back-to-back goals for Knoxville to give the Ice Bears a 5-3 lead at the second intermission. His first came from the slot after Nick Pryce won the puck in the trapezoid and slipped it out in front of the crease. Waxin-Engback scored again moments later when he tapped in a rebound after a Kyler Matthews shot from the blue line was stopped by Martin.
Devin Brink scored 26 seconds into the third with a wrist shot from the blue line. Tommy Munichiello tied the game less than a minute later. Aaron Aragon gave Macon its first lead at 4:28 of the final frame when Caleb Cameron fed him the puck in the slot to finish off a two-on-one.
Balsamo nearly tied the game a few minutes later with a breakaway, but his backhand attempt was stopped by Martin. Waxin-Engback got loose on an odd-man rush, but Martin swallowed the wrist shot from the right circle and Knoxville never threatened again.
Kyle Soper scored off a breakaway late to cap off the scoring. Stead finished with 23 saves. Martin had 18 stops for Macon.
The two teams will face off for the third consecutive game Saturday night at the Civic Coliseum.
ABOUT The Knoxville Ice Bears: The Knoxville Ice Bears organization began in 2002 and was an inaugural charter member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) in 2004. As four-time SPHL Champions and five-time regular season champions, the Ice Bears are an experienced and established organization, offering the city and its visitors a balanced product of highlight-reel hockey, unique and exciting intermission activity and endless fan interaction, presenting the most affordable, family-friendly way to enjoy sports and entertainment. Season, Partial Season and Flex Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit www.knoxvilleicebears.com or call (865) 525-7825.