Marksmen score team-high 10 goals, Fries nets hat trick 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Fayetteville Marksmen set a new team record with 10 goals in a 10-4 win over the Knoxville Ice Bears and captain Connor Fries netted his third career hat trick Saturday at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. 

Fayetteville began what would be its second five-goal period in Knoxville this season, just two and a half minutes into the game off the stick of Dalton Hunter (9). Nick Parody (9) intercepted an Ice Bears’ pass in neutral ice and set up Hunter by creating a big rebound of the goaltender inside the zone. Seventy-five seconds later, Zack Nazzarett scored his first professional hockey goal off a cross-ice feed from Adam Pitters (4), who got the puck after Simon Boyko (21) kept it in the zone. Less than 20 seconds later, the Marksmen would chase Knoxville’s starter from the crease. Fries (10) got his first of the evening on Fayetteville’s fifth puck-on-net when he tapped in a pass from Tyler Barrow (20). Hunter (22) picked up the secondary helper. 

The goaltending change wasn’t successful in turning the tides for Knoxville, as Fayetteville made it a 4-0 lead 75 seconds later. Tyler Kobryn (13) batted his own rebound out of mid-air, continuing the onslaught. Grant Loven (22) provided net-front presence, sending the puck back to Matt Araujo (22) before Kobryn finished the play. For the first time in the game, a five-minute stretch went by between goals following the fourth, but before too long, Boyko (22) lit the lamp from Pitters (5) and Nazzarett (2) to make it 5-0 with nine minutes left in the period. Knoxville stopped the bleeding for a short time, finding the back of the net while shorthanded but the visitors headed into the first intermission up 18-8 in shots and 5-1 on the board. 

Fries completed his hat trick with the first two goals in the middle frame, beginning with a deflection from Jamie Dorsey (6) and Loven (23) at 7:07. Five and a half minutes later, Loven (24) powered up the far wall and dished to the front of the net with one hand. Anthony Yurkins (13) was stopped by the netminder before Fries (12) sealed the play off the rebound. Once again, the final goal of the frame went to Knoxville, as the Ice Bears scored within the final minutes of the period, but the Marksmen skated into the third period up 7-2. 

Knoxville scored a powerplay goal to kick off the third, making it a four-goal game, but Fayetteville answered with more. Boyko (23) scored his fifth goal in two games after goaltender Brandon Perrone (2) sailed a puck down ice to Barrow (21) and set up a top-shelf snipe. Tyson Gilmour (1) registered his first pro point on a connecting play with Fries (12) that led to Barrow’s fifteenth of the season later. Fayetteville reached never-before-seen offensive heights by the Marksmen when Nazzarett (2) scored from an impossible angle by slapping a bouncing puck toward the net at 12:05. Dorsey (3) sent in the puck along the boards to Pitters (6), who tried to settle it, but only enough on to continue the jumping biscuit to the goal scorer. 

Overall, 14 Marksmen recorded at least one point, including Perrone, and Fries put up his third career four-point game, on his 29th birthday. 

The Marksmen are just two points back of third place after winning back-to-back games, and will return to the Crown Coliseum as the Carolina Reapers Saturday. 

Prior to puck drop, the team is hosting the 3rd Annual Fayetteville Eats Food Festival beginning at 3:30PM at the Crown Coliseum North VIP Parking Lot. 

Single-game tickets to Reapers Night and the Food Festival are available at