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Swenson Scores Twice in 5-2 Win over Birmingham

February 24, 2020 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Evansville Thunderbolts News Release

Behind a two-goal night from Seth Swenson, the Thunderbolts offense overpowered the Birmingham Bulls, winning 5-2 at the Ford Center on Sunday night. The Thunderbolts are home on Friday, February 28th and Saturday, February 29th against the Quad City Storm. Friday will be BOGO Night, and fans can buy one ticket and get another for free when ordering online using the promo code "LEAP". Saturday's game will be Dog's Night Out and Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Night. The Thunderbolts will be wearing specialty Paw Patrol jerseys which will be auctioned off after the game, and you can bring your dog to the game as well.

Braden Hellems opened the scoring on the power play at 16:44 of the first period, on a set up from Noah Corson, also assisted by Hayden Hulton. After the Thunderbolts killed off a major Birmingham power play, the Bulls would find the tying goal, scored by Aaron Huffnagle with 5:30 remaining in the second period. The tie score would last a mere 26 seconds, as Seth Swenson was set up from Austin Plevy on a redirection goal at the net front to make it 2-1 with 5:04 remaining in the period, also assisted by Kyle Thacker. Evansville would strike again on the power play with 1:55 remaining, as Brandon Lubin blasted a shot to the top corner, making it 3-1 from Derek Sutliffe and Plevy.

In the third period, the Thunderbolts' momentum continued, as Swenson would score again to make it 4-1 only 35 seconds into the period, as Sutliffe fed Plevy cross-ice, who then passed it to Swenson who was waiting at the side of the net for the easy tap-in. at 4:13, Sutliffe would make it 5-1 by driving around the defenseman and going to the net, putting the puck in and falling into the net in the process. The goal would be assisted by Demico Hannoun and would end a span of four Thunderbolts goals in only 9 minutes and 17 seconds of play. The Bulls would strike late to make it a 5-2 game, which would be the final score in favor of the Thunderbolts.

Swenson finished with two goals, Sutliffe finished with one goal and two assists, and Hellems along with Lubin finished with one goal each. Plevy tallied three assists, extending his SPHL point-scoring race lead to 58 points. Braeden Ostepchuk made 26 saves on 28 shots for his 12th win of the season. The Thunderbolts win the season series with Birmingham with their fourth win over the Bulls in the seven-game regular season series. These teams meet again on Friday, March 20th at the Pelham Civic Complex, and one last time on Ford Center ice on Sunday, March 22nd. Tonight's win was Evansville's 22nd of the season, and the Thunderbolts now need no more than 14 points out of 28 possible remaining to clinch a playoff spot.

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