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Kulczycki Splits Mayhem, Bears Win in OT

January 14, 2022 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Knoxville Ice Bears News Release

Kasey Kulczycki scored in overtime and the Knoxville Ice Bears held off the Macon Mayhem 6-5 at the Macon Centreplex Friday night. The Ice Bears (21-3-2) have won eight straight for the second time this season.

Kulczycki received a pass on the right side from Joey Strada and carried it into the right circle. His wrist shot split the pads of Michael Stiliadis for his first goal as an Ice Bear.

After the Ice Bears gave up two power play goals to Macon just 21 seconds apart to fall behind 5-4, Dino Balsamo scored at 10:32 of the third to tie the game and ultimately force overtime.

Knoxville opened the scoring when Sam Turner beat Stiliadis with a wrist shot at 2:28 of the first. Kulczycki worked the puck into the zone in transition and drew three Macon skaters to him, leaving Turner open in the right circle. Kulczycki slipped the puck to Turner, who fired the puck on net for his fifth goal of the season.

Macon tied the game at 17:23 on the power play when Caleb Cameron put in a rebound after a Cody Rodgers shot from the point was blocked by Kristian Stead. Cameron found the loose puck on the opposite side of the crease and put it back on net.

Knoxville responded less than a minute later when Jason Price sent a long pass from his own end to J.B. Baker at the Macon blue line for a breakaway. Baker skated in front, hesitated and had his initial shot blocked by Stiliadis before putting the rebound past him to put the Ice Bears ahead 2-1.

Dean Moore scored his first of the season with 36 seconds left in the period to make it 3-1 at the intermission. Moore kept in a clearing attempt at the left wall, carried the puck to the corner and found an opening to slip it past Stiliadis off a sharp angle.

Macon tied the game in the second when Zak Lambrecht scored just one minute into the period off a breakaway and Brian Kerrigan found the net from the blue line at 9:34.

Knoxville retook the lead at 17:10 when Razmuz Waxin-Engback scored his 10th of the season. Stefan Brucato won the puck behind the net away from Kyle Soper, slipped out to the far side and fed a backdoor pass to Waxin-Engback, who put a one-timer past Stiliadis to give the Ice Bears a 4-3 lead at second intermission.

Stead finished with 30 saves for Knoxville. Stiliadis made 38 stops for the Mayhem (4-20-2).

The two teams will play again in Macon Saturday night at 6:30.

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