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Everything Looking Rosy For Knoxville Ice Bears

By John Disque

craigenWith a new Season, new fans, new head-coach, new management and new players the Knoxville Ice Bears decided to start the season off right with a 3-2 overtime win against their arch-rival Fayetteville Fireants on Friday, October 22, 2010.

The Knoxville Civic Coliseum hosted a packed house and welcomed new Ice Bears head coach Mike Craigen, 4-season Icebears player, with a standing ovation and super-intense appreciation for his love of this community and this team.

Craigen, who is from a small town just north of Toronto, Canada, gives much appreciation and recognition to the Ice Bears Booster Club. He names the Booster Club "The backbone of the operation" and points out that they remain consistent throughout all of the changes. "The players you all see on the ice, on the news, in the paper and around town are the face of the organization, but the folks who feed them, help them out off the ice, make sure they're comfortable in new homes and provide unconditional support to them every day is the Booster Club."

Ice Bears new head coach, Mike Craigen, Photo by Jeffrey Haas

Craigen was not the only one to be welcomed back. Long time Knoxville player Keven Swider has now taken over a management role with the Ice Bears as new "director of hockey operations" and the fans and players were, again, quick and happy to show their appreciation.

Although the game remained scoreless throughout the first and second period,s the crowd remained intense and the action would pick up in the third. The Fireants scored first on a power-play goal by captain: Craig Geerlinks (Ironically an ex-Ice Bears player) Knoxville answered and were quick to tie it back up with a short-handed goal by Dallas Costanzo.

With the scored toed 1-1 Fayettville was not about to go to sleep, and, once again, took charge with a goal by Cody Zubko to go ahead 2-1.

With time running out, everyone in The Civic Coliseum remained glued to the edge of their seats. While the crowd begged the players to answer the call, they were not disappointed as Lorne Misita showed the world what real heart and determination can do. Lorne scored his first goal of the season tying the game at 2-2.

Time eventually did run out in regulation play and now we were heading into overtime. What can you do? There were a lot of gritted teeth, a lot of screaming and stomping. Most of the fans said, "to hell with the seats" and remained on their feet as the players took their positions and went into overtime.

There was hope and a mountain of pride and once again The Ice Bears did not disappoint. The overtime goal was scored by Emery Olauson (unbelievably - a former Fayetteville player) to give the Ice Bears a 3-2 victory and the entire city of Knoxville the smile they deserve.

Ice Bears 2010-2011 Schedule

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