By Ken Lay
The Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association’s high school season began with a thriller between the Bearden/Karns Ice Dawgs and the Knoxville Warriors Thursday night at the Icearium.
The Warriors, comprised of players from Webb, Catholic and Christian Academy of Knoxville, came away with a 4-3 victory.
But the win didn’t come easily but the Warriors (1-0) prevailed when Hayden White scored an unassisted goal with 1 minute, 18 seconds remaining in the third period.
After White scored what turned out to be the game-winner, Bearden/Karns not only killed a late penalty but had a pair of short-handed chances. The Ice Dawgs, however, couldn’t convert to salvage a tie in the season opener for both squads.
“It was pleasantly surprised at first. We were in a see-saw battle and it was just a matter of who would get a lucky bounce,” Warriors coach David Roulier said. “Luckily, it was us on that last goal.
“It was an up-and-down game. We would score and then they would score. I was upset with our ice coverage on defense but you have to give Bearden credit. They played hard and they had a couple of late chances when they were short-handed.”
The Warriors, who won the league championship in 2011-12, scored first when Michael Roulier tallied off an assist from Jayce Dorman,
Knoxville also got a pair of goals from Michael Thompson in the game.
Bearden/Karns (0-1) got its first goal when Jackson Finch scored an unassisted tally while the Ice Dawgs were short-handed. The Ice Dawgs’ Austin Bachleda scored a goal late in the second period. Jake Fountaine assisted that marker.
Fountaine scored Bearden/Karns’ final goal of the game off an assist from Finch.
Ice Dawgs’ coach Stuart Bachleda said that he was pleased with his squad’s effort.
“It was the first night of the season and on the first night, you find out what you’ve got and the kids find out what they’ve got,” he said. “We were in it the whole way.
“We’re a start-over team and these kids are teaching themselves the game and they’re doing a great job.”
Defending champ Farragut opens with win: The contest between the Ice Dawgs and the Warriors was the second game of a double header Thursday night.
The Farragut Admirals, who won last year’s league title by going 19-0, picked up where they left off last season.
Farragut scored three unanswered goals in the third period en route to recording a 5-2 win over the Knoxville Knights.
The game was tied 2-2 heading into the final frame.
Felix Bjurstrom broke the tie with a goal with 7 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third period. He also scored the game’s final marker with about four minutes later. The Admirals’ other third-period goal came from Trey Rogoski.
The Admirals scored the game’s first goal early as defenseman Kyle Lindsay tallied. Harley Gorlewski, who had a goal and an assist, scored Farragut’s second goal of the first period.
The Knights (0-1) got goals from Mason Jobe and Tyler Peter. Jobe’s goal came in the first period and knotted the game 1-1 while Peter scored the lone goal of the second period.