By Dave Link, Knoxville News Sentinel
There wasn't any champagne flowing Sunday night inside the Knoxville Ice Bears' locker room at Civic Coliseum.
Some ice-cold brews suited the Ice Bears just fine for a celebration.
Rookie Dan Bremner scored three goals and the Ice Bears beat the Mississippi RiverKings 6-3 before 1,681 fans to clinch their best-of-three first-round series, 2-1, of the Southern Professional Hockey League Playoffs.
The third-seeded Ice Bears won two straight over the sixth-seeded RiverKings after losing last Wednesday's playoff opener, 6-3.
"When your backs are against the wall, your true character shows up," Bremner said inside a jubilant locker room. "It's a great group of guys in here."
The Ice Bears play host to fourth-seeded Pensacola on Thursday night in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinal series. Knoxville travels to Pensacola on Saturday night in Game 2. If necessary, Game 3 will be Sunday at 5 at the Coliseum.
"We're going to celebrate here, definitely, take 24 hours to make sure we let this soak in and enjoy the moment," Ice Bears coach Mike Craigen said, "and then we're going to start getting ready for Pensacola."