November 5, 2017
Fayetteville, N.C- The Fayetteville Marksmen fought hard to overcome an early hole, and produced a season-high 45 shots on net, but couldn’t keep pace with the Knoxville Ice Bears, dropping the contest, 6-3, on Sunday at Crown Coliseum.
Just 1:41 into the contest, the Ice Bears found the back of the net for the game’s first strike. Dean Yakura found a streaking Chris Santello up the right-wing boards. Santello skated in, unmarked, and whizzed a wrister over the shoulder of Peter Di Salvo.
It didn’t take long for the Ice Bears to extend their lead to 2-0. A puck battle behind the net led to the puck squeaking out to the slot, where David Branick was waiting and teed up a one-timer to the top corner of the net.
Showing the same resolve they have throughout the season, the Marksmen battled back, courtesy of Shane Bennett. Ludlow Harris drove the net of Patrick Spano, creating a two-on-one advantage. Feeding a saucer pass over the outstretched defender, the puck landed on Bennett’s tape for the easy backdoor, power play goal.
Midway through the second frame, the Marksmen completed the comeback, knotting the game at two. Cycling the puck around the offensive zone, Ray Boudiette carried behind the net of Spano, into the slot and lifted an uncontested shot on net that caromed off the pads of the netminder, where Bennett pushed in his second of the night.
With time winding down in the middle stanza, Kyle McNeil gave the Marksmen their first lead of the night. Fresh off a successful penalty kill, McNeil picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone, carried in on a breakaway and beat Spano short side, over his glove.
That would end the scoring for the Marksmen, as the Ice Bears took control of the game. Going coast-to-coast up the right-wing boards, Josh Erickson carried into the zone, slowed at the top of the circle and fired in a long shot to the far-side post.
Less than one minute later, Danny Cesarz gave the Ice Bears a 4-3 lead. Entering the zone down the left-wing boards, Cesarz gained a step on the Marksmen defender, crashed in on Di Salvo and put in a backhander.
Midway through the third period, the power play unit clicked for the Ice Bears, making it a 5-3 game. Utilizing crisp passing along the boards, Scott Berkley lifted a shot that was sticked away by Di Salvo, the rebound landed in the slot where Michael Chen pushed the puck to the back of the net, with an off-balanced backhanded shot through the pads of Di Salvo.
The Ice Bears concluded the scoring for the evening with just over six minutes remaining. Tyler Palmer poked the puck away from a Marksmen defender attempting to exit the zone, and lasered a shot on net. Di Salvo thought he had corralled the puck, but it trickled into the slot, where Yakura blasted a one-timer to give the Ice Bears a 6-3 lead.
Game Notes: Bennett recorded his first career multi-point game with two goals. This was the first time this season Jake Hauswirth was held off the scoresheet, snapping his five-game point streak. The Marksmen put a season-high 45 shots on net.
Next Game: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ Pensacola
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The Fayetteville Marksmen are owned and operated by Union Pro Hockey Group and play their home games at Crown Coliseum. The Marksmen are a committed community asset, designed to provide premium entertainment to families and individuals in Cumberland County and surrounding areas.