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Nickelsí hat tricks lead Ice Dawgs to state tourney
BHS finishes Knox season perfect, 17-0

Andrew Nickels' confidence in his Bearden Ice Dawgs chances for success matches the confidence he's displayed with the stick of late.

Finishing off his third consecutive hat-trick (three goals) in a 4-3 victory against the Warriors Wednesday, March 15, to win the Knoxville High School Tournament and finish the local hockey schedule unbeaten at 17-0, the junior standout is confident about the upcoming state tournament in Nashville April 1-2.

"We're going to win state," Nickels said. "I want to get that state title here to Knoxville, so I decided to step my game up a little bit in the playoffs. I'm playing with a little bit more intensity and putting the puck in the net."

Looking back on the 18-1 season, which included a split in Nashville versus Mt. Juliet, Nickels said the team's success is "really due to our coach, Mister John Cox, he pushes us really hard in practice. And our great goaltending [Logan Baker]. We've just really been a great team all year."

Cox praised Nickels among a junior class he labeled as "great," in addition to seniors Stephen Holbrook and Christopher Bates. "I'm very proud of our seniors," he said, adding praise for Baker, Jeff Slack and Ben Jardet. "They're great kids up and down the line."

Against the Warriors, Jay Cox had the other BHS goal in addition to a pair of assists. Holbrook had one assist.


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