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Ice Bears Clipped by Bulls 4-3

January 5, 2019 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Knoxville Ice Bears News Release

Craig Simchuk scored with 1:18 remaining and the Birmingham Bulls beat the Knoxville Ice Bears 4-3 on Friday at the Civic Coliseum.

The loss snaps a five-game point streak for the Ice Bears. The Bulls have won two straight.

Josh Harris flipped a backhand on net that was stopped by Hayden Stewart, but the rebound caused chaos by the crease with referee Kody Helbig eventually ruling the Bulls had pushed the puck past the goal line.

Earlier in the period Birmingham took a 3-2 lead with a one-timer from the left circle by Shane Topf with less than four minutes remaining. Danny Cesarz responded just over a minute later with a breakaway goal to send the Coliseum into a frenzy.

Evan Schultz scored first for Birmingham when his shot from the right circle split Hayden Stewart's pads at 2:09 of the first.

Marcus Ortiz found Liam Kerins through the neutral zone. Kerins initial shot flew wide of the net, but bounced out towards the right side of the crease, where he followed it up and tapped in his own rebound past Mavric Parks to tie the score with just two seconds remaining in the first.

Birmingham retook the lead when Harris stole the puck at his own blue line while shorthanded and finished off a breakaway with a backhand over Stewart's blocker at 10:44 of the second. Stewart finished with 19 saves.

The Ice Bears got another clutch goal late in a period when Bryce Nielsen's one-timer from in front of the crease found the net with only five seconds left in the second. Eric Ylitalo dug the puck out of the right corner and found Nielsen with some space by the blue ice.

The two teams will return to the Coliseum Saturday night to cap off a two-game weekend series. Join the Ice Bears for the return of Legends as former Ice Bears return to their glory as they participate in an exhibition prior to the Ice Bears game - puck drop is at 5:30. Your ticket to the Ice Bears game give you access to both games.

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