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The Knoxville Ice Bears got an overtime goal from Mark Van Vliet for their second straight road win, 4-3 over Mississippi.

11:58 PM, Dec 9, 2011   |    comments
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The Knoxville Ice Bears got an overtime goal from Mark Van Vliet for their second straight road win, 4-3 over Mississippi.

The Ice Bears scored two goals in the third period to rally from behind, but the RiverKings scored to send the game to the extra period.

Knoxville plays again Saturday in Mississippi before returning home next week.

Here is more on the game from the Knoxville Ice Bears:

Knoxville Ice Bears special teams rose to the occasion in a seesaw battle that ended with an overtime goal by Mark Van Vliet in the final second of play to defeat the Mississippi RiverKings 4-3.

Knoxville was awarded four power play opportunities during the first period and was held off the scoreboard. Late in the period, they managed to find the back of the net while shorthanded at 17:28 of the first on Dan Bremner's first professional goal.  Eric Slais and Bremner broke in on a two on one with Slais drawing the defender to him and then delivered a perfect pass for Bremner to notch the game's first goal. The period ended with 1 - 0 lead in favor of the Ice Bears.

Mississippi controlled the second period by out shooting the Ice Bears 11-7 and finding the back of the net twice on goals by Darrell Stoddard and Rob Sich.  The RiverKings lead after two periods of play 2-1.

Knoxville has dominated the third period all season long and tonight was no exception, at 1:17 into the third period and on the power play, Emery Olauson drew the teams even on his 15th goal of the season - currently tied with Augusta's Jim Gehring for league lead in goals.

Just three minutes later, Knoxville took the lead on the power play again as Swider notched his eight goal of the season.  Both Ice Bears goals in the third period were scored while former Ice Bear Sich was in the penalty box.

The RiverKings were not going down without a fight.  With a 5 on 3 advantage, Mississippi managed to tie the game on a goal by Mike Tuomi.  As the period was winding down, both teams traded chances but needed extra time to decide the victor.

After successfully killing an overtime penalty, SPHL defensive scoring leader Van Vliet tapped the puck behind RiverKings goalie David Wilson after a dazzling play by Kevin Swider.  Swider danced around the RiverKings defenders then stuffed a tight shot at the netminder.  With the puck lying in the goal crease, Van Vliet buried the puck in the back of the net at the 4:59 mark of the five minute overtime period.

Knoxville plays tomorrow night against the Mississippi RiverKings at 8:05 pm at the Desoto Civic Center.  The Ice Bears return home Friday, December 16th for Race Night and Saturday, December 17th for Guaranteed Fight Night sponsored by the American Cancer Society.  Both games are at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum with the puck dropping at 7:30 each night.  For tickets call 865-656-444 or visit

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