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ThunderBolts Burn RiverKings, 5-2

January 15, 2018 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Mississippi RiverKings News Release

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Wrapping up three games in three nights, the RiverKings fell to the Thunderbolts 5-2 in the weekend finale. Despite scoring two unanswered goals in the third period, the rally fell well short, and the Thunderbolts take a 2-1 series lead against the RiverKings this season.

Jared Rutledge got the start in goal for the RiverKings, but unfortunately, the scoring started early and often for the Thunderbolts. Evansville netted three first period tallies, two of them off the stick of Tyler Vankleef, to take the 3-0 lead into the first intermission.

The RiverKings would get their chances in the second period, but couldn't solve Thomas Sholl who backstopped the Thunderbolts to another clean period. Halfway through the second period former RiverKing, Robbie Hall beat Jared Rutledge on a rifled shot from the left point and gave the Thunderbolts a commanding 4-0 lead going into the second break.

Out of the third period, it seemed like more of the same when Evansville got their 5th goal of the game, the hat-trick tally for Tyler Vankleef, but the RiverKings refused to back down. Only a minute and 10 seconds after Evansville took the lead 5-0, Shane Bennett worked his way into the slot and knocked a backhander through the legs of Sholl, and suddenly it was 5-1 in favor of the home team Thunderbolts. Working through the third Ryan Marcuz got his fourth goal of the season on a tremendous individual effort. Marcuz followed Devin Mantha's dump-in with speed and got off two shots, the second beating Sholl to get the RiverKings their second of the night. Evansville would hold off the attack for the remainder of the game, and the RiverKings fall to 14-14-0 on the season while the Thunderbolts improve to 16-7-5.

The RiverKings return home to Planters Bank Ice at Landers Center Tuesday night for a rematch against the Knoxville Ice Bears.

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