December 6, 2017 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Evansville Thunderbolts
Imoo's strength in net leads to point in OT loss
Thunderbolts now head to Mississippi.
Evansville, Ind - The Mississippi RiverKings would blast shots by the dozen at Jonah Imoo, and due to plenty of saves on his part, Evansville would gain a point by making it to overtime, before falling in the 3 on 3 period, 3-2 on Saturday night. After coming off two consecutive losses, the Bolts looked to rebound against one of the hotter teams in the SPHL out of the season's gates. Mississippi had just handed Pensacola their first loss of the season and despite bounces not going their way against Peoria, the Bolts looked solid against the Rivermen.
Things started well for Evansville, as a penalty to recently-traded Thunderbolt Don Olivieri would put the Bolts on the power play. Chase Nieuwendyk would sneak a shot past RiverKings goaltender Tyler Green to make it 1-0 Evansville, assisted by Dylan Clarke and Tommy Fiorentino. Justin MacDonald would nearly make it 2-0, but hit the post on an open net.
In the 2nd period, Evansville's defense took the brunt of the work, as they were outshot in the period, 17-5. Mississippi scored on their 25th shot during a power play from Daniel Tedesco at 7:28 to tie the game, assisted by Derek Sutliffe and Devin Mantha. The RiverKings would take the lead a few minutes later at the 14:29 mark as Brantley Sherwood was able to walk into the middle past an Evansville back-checker to fire one past Imoo, who again had no chance on the shot. Pijus Rulevicius and Matt Harrington would assist on the goal to make it 2- 1. However, the Bolts gained life towards the end of period two as John Scorcia would get fed from more than 100 feet by Frank Schumacher, and in one fell swoop would toe drag by a defenseman and fire a shot over Green to tie the game at 2 with 1:42 to go.
The 3rd period would be more evenly played, with Evansville only being outshot 13-5.
Imoo would continue to make big saves in goal for the Bolts - some in spectacular fashion - to keep it tied. He would stop every shot in the 3rd, pushing the game to overtime. The Bolts would survive a late 3rd period RiverKings' power play and would play both sides through most of the overtime. Olivieri would get sprung on a breakaway and score to win it for Mississippi at the 3:27 mark.
For Evansville, Scorcia and Nieuwendyk would get the goals and Imoo would make 43 more saves on 46 shots against. For Mississippi, Tedesco would tally a goal and assist, Olivieri and Sherwood would add goals, Sutliffe would pick up 2 assists and Green would stop 17 of 19 shots for the victory. Attendance at the Landers Center was 3,036.