Ice Bears sneak past RiverHawks, 3-2

Augusta Riverhawks
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Augusta-GA--The Augusta RiverHawks once again outshot their opposition Saturday night at the James Brown Arena but ended up on the wrong end of the score, as they were edged by the Knoxville Ice Bears 3-2.

The Ice Bears started the scoring early, capitalizing on a 4-on-4 opportunity. Perhaps aided by some interference off of the faceoff, Mark Van Vliet grabbed the puck at the point and let loose a slap shot from the top of the slot that evaded RiverHawks net-minder BJ O'Brien.

The Ice Bears added to their lead six minutes later as Brett Valiquette won a battle off the boards deep in the RiverHawks end. He then slid a pass over to Jon Higgins who hammered a one-timer past O'Brien for his second goal of the season.

Things were looking dire for the RiverHawks until they drew a power play with less than five minutes remaining in the period. They moved the puck effectively with the man advantage, and it was Ian Watters deflecting a shot from Drew Baker past Ice Bears goaltender Peter Skoggard to narrow the Ice Bears lead back to one.

The RiverHawks took back a lot of the game's momentum in the second period with some spirited play, and then their Captain evened the score. Matt Auffrey took a pass from Shawn Skelley and walked towards the slot. He fired a snap shot that beat Skoggard over the shoulder, just under the cross-bar for the team's second goal.

The RiverHawks continued to set the pace of the play headed into the third period, but a momentary lapse led to the Ice Bears regaining the lead. Forward Berkeley Scott deked his way out of trouble in his own zone and fired a long, lead pass for Van Vliet. Van Vliet hammered a slap shot that squeezed through O'Brien's pads for his second of the night.

The RiverHawks will be back in action for home games on December 27 and 28.

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