Clarke's Overtime Heroics Lift ThunderBolts over Dawgs
Evansville, Ind - The Thunderbolts returned home Friday night looking to tie a franchise record for the longest win streak against the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs. Despite a strong showing from the Dawgs, Evansville came out on top in overtime, 4-3, to make it five in a row for the Thunderbolts.
Evansville struck early in the first period on the power play, as John Scorcia would roof a shot from close to the side of the net to give the Bolts a 1-0 lead at the 4:02 mark from Mark Petaccio and Cory Melkert. Roanoke would respond 54 seconds later to tie it up from Mike Moroso at 4:56, assisted by Viktor Tiutchenko. Roanoke would control play in the second period and Steve Mele would give Roanoke the lead at 11:46, after the Bolts turned it over in their own crease and an easy tap in by Mele to give Roanoke a 2-1 lead, from Matt Beer.
Just like in Birmingham last weekend, the Bolts had to battle back in the third period. And battle they did. Dylan Clarke tied the game at 8:05, as a blast by Melkert went between the legs of Brad Barone and sat on the goal line. Clarke would tap it over the line to finish the play, with an assist by Dave Williams. A late power play for the Thunderbolts would give Scorcia another opportunity to shine. After Tyler Vankleef was denied point- blank, the puck sat underneath Barone in the crease and Scorcia found it for the finishing tap to give the Bolts a late lead with 4:01 left to go. Petaccio was awarded the assist. With Barone on the bench, Roanoke would tie it back up on a rebound by Matt Beer with 1:29 to go, and force overtime. In extra time, Clarke would get a breakaway and score the game-winning goal only 33 seconds in to give the Bolts their fifth straight victory, tying a franchise record.
For Evansville, Clarke and Scorcia scored two goals each, Melkert and Petaccio tallied 2 assists each and Sholl stopped 22 of 25 shots for the overtime victory.
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