MACON, Ga. – After one period, Knoxville was on top having rallied back from an early one-goal deficit against Pensacola.
Then, the second period happened, resulting in the Ice Bears being one loss from elimination in the President’s Cup Semifinals.
The Ice Flyers scored three goals 4:08 apart in the second period on Wednesday in Knoxville, leading 4-2 before going on to win 5-2. The three-goal flurry was part of a second period in which Pensacola heavily outshot Pensacola 21-4, a span that also saw Knoxville goalie Austyn Roudebush being pulled in favor of Peter Di Salvo. Wednesday was the third time this season that Roudebush had allowed four goals in a single game.
Pensacola, which scored the game’s first goal 7:51 into the contest on a score by Eddie Matsushima, saw its early lead evaporate when the Ice Bears got a pair of first-period goals from Austin Plevy and Johnny Curran.
Knoxville wouldn’t score again the rest of the night, as Pensacola goalie Jake Kupsky turned away 17 of 19 shots.
Down 2-1, Pensacola tied it up a 2-2 at 2:50 on the second on a Frederic Letourneau goal. Scores by Matsushima and Jake Wahlin widen the gap, quickly upending the game’s momentum. Garrett Milan added a goal in the third period for the final margin.
The best-of-three series continues Friday in Pensacola where the Ice Flyers have a chance to sweep the series. A win by Knoxville would force a decisive third game on Sunday in Knoxville.