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Thunderbolts Host Pair of Weekend Games, Travel to Peoria Tuesday

January 20, 2022 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Evansville Thunderbolts News Release

Evansville, Ind: After a disappointing three-loss weekend, the Thunderbolts prepare to hit the reset button with a pair of home games against the Vermilion County Bobcats on Friday and Quad City Storm on Saturday, followed by a mid-week game in Peoria on Tuesday.

Week In Review:

The Thunderbolts fell behind 2-0 early to Quad City at Ford Center on Friday, before Cameron Cook got the Thunderbolts on the scoreboard late in the first period. Down 3-1 in the second period, Zane Jones scored a shorthanded goal to bring Evansville back within one, but the Storm pulled away again with two goals to defeat the Thunderbolts 5-2. On Saturday in Huntsville, the Thunderbolts put 38 shots on goal, yet the Havoc scored the lone goal of the night, defeating the Thunderbolts in a rare 1-0 shutout. On Sunday in Knoxville, Tanner Butler scored the opening goal for the Thunderbolts, however Evansville broke down in the third period as the Ice Bears stormed ahead to secure a 3-1 win.

The Week Ahead:

The Thunderbolts host the Vermilion County Bobcats on Friday night and the Quad City Storm on Saturday night at Ford Center, opening face-off for both nights at 7:00pm CT. For tickets, call (812)422-BOLT (2658), go to, or visit the Ford Center Ticket Office. On Tuesday, the Thunderbolts will play in Peoria against the Rivermen at Peoria Civic Center, starting at 7:15pm CT. Tuesday's game can be viewed online with a paid membership to SPHL TV through HockeyTV or can be listened to for free on the Thunderbolts Radio Network; at, or via the Thunderbolts Mixlr Channel.

Scouting the Opponent:

Vermilion County Bobcats:

Record: 3-19-2, 8 Points, 11th Place

Leading Goal Scorer: Houston Wilson (7 Goals)

Leading Point Scorer: Houston Wilson (13 Points)

Primary Goaltender: Ben Churchfield (2-7-0, .894 Save %)

Thunderbolts 21-22 Record vs VCB: 3-0-0

The Bobcats were blown out 8-2 in Peoria on Friday, with Kyle Stevens and Houston Wilson scoring the Bobcat goals. It was a rough night for Ben Churchfield, who on 21 shots faced was scored on 5 times. Churchfield bounced back strong on Saturday, stopping 41 of 44 shots, but the Bobcats were still defeated by a 3-1 score to the Rivermen, with the lone goal from Michael Mercurio.

Quad City Storm:

Record: 17-5-6, 40 Points, 3rd Place

Leading Goal Scorer: Connor Fries (13 Goals)

Leading Point Scorer: Shane Bennett (27 Points)

Primary Goaltender: Thomas Proudlock (2-3-2, .900 Save %)

Thunderbolts 21-22 Record vs QCS: 2-3-0

On Friday in Evansville, Tommy Stang and Filip Virgili scored only 10 seconds apart to give the Storm their early 2-0 lead. Virgili scored again in the second period, as Marcus Ortiz and Tommy Tsicos added the insurance goals in the third period in the Storm's 5-2 win. After the day off on Saturday, the Storm traveled to Peoria on Sunday and again took a 2-0 lead in the first period from goals by Taylor Pryce and Shane Bennett. After the Rivermen took a 3-2 lead in the second period, Bennett scored again to tie the game going into the third period, where the Rivermen took full control and scored four times against Connor Fries' lone goal for Quad City to defeat the Storm 7-4. The Storm have a rematch in Peoria on Friday before traveling to Evansville on Saturday.

Peoria Rivermen:

Record: 16-5-4, 36 Points, 4th Place

Leading Goal Scorer: Alec Hagaman (17 Goals Each)

Leading Point Scorer: Alec Hagaman (39 Points)

Primary Goaltender: Eric Levine (13-5-2, .924 Save %)

Thunderbolts 21-22 Record vs PEO: 2-3-0

Alec Hagaman and Mike Laidley each picked up hat tricks on Friday against the Bobcats, while Alec Baer scored the game's first goal and Nathan Chasteen scored his first professional goal. Eric Levine had a slow night, facing 16 shots and stopping 14. Saturday's rematch against the Bobcats saw an even fewer 10 shots, of which Levine stopped 9 en route to a 3-1 win for the Rivermen. Laidley, Marcel Godbout, and Mitchell McPherson provided the goals for the Rivermen. In Sunday's 7-4 win over Quad City, Hagaman and Nick Neville scored twice, while Paul-Antoine Deslauriers, McPherson, and Godbout each scored one goal. The Rivermen host Quad City again on Friday night in their lone game of the upcoming weekend.

Call-up Report

- Kyle Thacker (Adirondack Thunder - ECHL)

- Games Played: 23 (5 with Iowa, 14 with Cincinnati, 4 with Adirondack)

- 2 Goals, 3 Assists, 5 Points, 8 PIM

- Cooper Jones (Idaho Steelheads - ECHL)

- Games Played: 14 (1 with Jacksonville IceMen, 12 with Idaho)

- 0 Goals, 1 Assist, 1 Point, 2 PIM

- Cole Stallard (Iowa Heartlanders - ECHL)

- Games Played: 25

- 6 Goals, 6 Assists, 12 Points, 37 PIM

- Scott Kirton (Cincinnati Cyclones - ECHL)

- Games Played: 2

- 0 Goals, 1 Assist, 1 Point, 0 PIM


Thur. 1/20: Tyson Kirkby acquired from Fayetteville in exchange for future considerations

Wed. 1/19: Skyler Smutek acquired from Fayetteville in exchange for future considerations

Tue. 1/18: Joey Bernard placed on waivers

Tue. 1/18: Coy Prevost signed to contract

Mon. 1/17: Danny Cangelosi released from professional tryout

Fri. 1/14: Chase Carter placed on 21-Day Injured Reserve

Fri. 1/14: Tory McLean placed on waivers

Fri. 1/14: Dylan Mills placed on team suspension

Fri. 1/14: Evan Scott signed to contract

The Thunderbolts are currently competing in their fifth season in the SPHL (Southern Professional Hockey League). Season tickets are less than $9 per game. To order your tickets for this season, call 812-422-BOLT(2658).

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