Photo by Dan Andrews. Farragut’s Corey Lindsay puts the puck past Knoxville Warriors goaltender Josh Creed (31) in the Admirals’ 6-0 win Thursday at the Icearium.
By Ken Lay
The Knoxville Knights hockey club darted to an early lead Thursday night. The Knights never trailed and went on to upset the Bearden Ice Dawgs in the Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association High School League finale for both squads at the Icearium.
Knoxville notched a 4-2 victory over the Ice Dawgs and Knights coach Greg Maine said the game was the best his squad had played this season.
“This was our best effort of the season,” Maine said. “We controlled our turnovers and we moved the puck a little better than we had in some of our past games.”
The Knights, who claimed the league championship in 2014-15 and claimed a state tournament bid, finished third this year. Knoxville concludes the campaign with a 3-5-1 record. The Knights will play the Knoxville Warriors Thursday night in a wild card game Thursday at 8:05 p.m.
The game will not carry weight in the final standings but will serve as a tune-up for the upcoming Moore Cup Tournament. Farragut (8-0) is the league champion. The Admirals, thus, have clinched a state tournament berth.
The Moore Cup will determine which team will get Knoxville’s second bid to the state tourney, which will be at the Icearium this season. The Knights won the league last year and the Admirals won the Moore Cup as the events fourth (and bottom seeded) team.
“This was a big win for us because we are clear and in third place,” Maine said. “We can finish no lower than third.”
When the wild card week was conceived, it was meant to serve as a seeding tool and could break ties in the standings. But that won’t be necessary because Farragut finished with 16 points in the league standings. Bearden came in second with nine points. The Knights have seven and the Warriors, who won one league game this season, finished in the cellar with two points.
Thursday night, the Knights took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Josh Maine with 5 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the first period.
Bearden (4-4-1) pulled even a short time later when Brandon Messing scored the equalizer.
Josh Maine gave the Knights the lead for good when he made the score 2-1 with 16.1 seconds left in the opening frame. John Curry picked up an assist on the Knights’ second goal.
Knoxville took a 3-1 lead when Isaiah Maine scored an unassisted marker with 8:39 left in the second period.
Bearden made things interesting when Drake Lamm beat Knoxville goaltender Bradley Walker while the Ice Dawgs were short-handed.
Josh Maine salted things away as he completed his hat trick with just under three minutes to play.