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ThunderBolts Return Home on Four-Game Win Streak

December 21, 2017 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Evansville Thunderbolts News Release

Evansville, Ind: With leading goal scorer Justin MacDonald called up, the Thunderbolts headed off to take on the powerhouse Pensacola Ice Flyers and surging Birmingham Bulls. Despite trailing in the third period of both games, the Thunderbolts showed resilience in the face of adversity, taking all four points on the road. Now, the Bolts - who sit in third place in the SPHL standings - can set a franchise record for most consecutive wins with victories against Roanoke and Knoxville before the Christmas break.

Weekend In Review:

Down 2-0 early in the first period in Pensacola, a major response would come from Mike Fazio, scoring his first professional goal only nine seconds after Pensacola's second goal, to make it a 2-1 game, where it would remain throughout the game. Tomas Sholl would continue to showcase his stellar goaltending prowess in net, allowing only the two early goals. Mark Petaccio would score the overtime-forcing goal with 1:20 to go in regulation. Dave Williams would be the overtime hero in extra time, snapping Pensacola's five-game win streak and extending Evansville's streak to three. Sholl would finish with 38 stops on 40 shots, including three big stops in overtime. The next night, the Bolts took on the surging Bulls, who had won five of their last eight games. Despite trailing three times in the game, the Thunderbolts bounced back in the third period, with John Scorcia scoring the go-ahead goal with only 2:17 remaining in regulation to win their fourth straight game. Sholl took home both wins in net, while the Bolts offense on the weekend was highlighted by five- point efforts by Chase Nieuwendyk and Dylan Clarke.

The Weekend Ahead:

Evansville has a two-game weekend ahead, both games on home ice at Ford Center. Friday night the Bolts take on the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs for the final time this season and on Saturday will play host to the Knoxville Ice Bears. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. cst. If you cannot make it to Ford Center, both games will be streamed on SPHL Live, and you can listen for free on the Thunderbolts MixLr Radio Network.

Scouting the Opponent:

- Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs: o Record: 5-11-2, 12 points, 9th place o EVV 2017-18 Record vs Roanoke: 2-0 o Leading Goal Scorer: Riley Spraggs (8 goals) o Leading Point Scorer: Steve Mele (22 points) o Primary Goaltender: Bradley Barone (3-5-0, 4.10 GAA, .902 Save %)

The Rail Yard Dawgs' sophomore season in the SPHL has been far from stable so far and this past weekend was further testament to that. Their first of three games was in Birmingham and despite a first period lead, the Bulls came storming back to take a 4-2 lead. The Dawgs fought back in the third, but fell short 4-3. The next night in Huntsville, Bradley Barone would get the hook after allowing three goals in the first period, and Roanoke failed to respond, falling 5-2. Their weekend would round out with a 6-2 defeat on home ice against the RiverKings, in a scoring and penalty filled affair. Following the weekend, Roanoke parted ways with head coach Sam Ftorek, and brought in former Peoria Rivermen captain Dan Bremner as the new bench boss, who will make his debut in Evansville on Friday.

- Knoxville Ice Bears o Record: 8-8-1, 17 points, 7th place o EVV 2017-18 Record vs Knoxville: 1-1 o Leading Goal Scorer: Danny Cesarz, Anthony Flaherty (7 goals)* o Leading Point Scorer: Danny Cesarz (16 points) o Primary Goaltender: Zoltan Hetenyi (7-7-1, 3.16 GAA, .911 Save %)

*: In lineup. Leading goal scorer Josh Erickson (8 goals) on call-up at time of publication

The Ice Bears took on the Peoria Rivermen for two games at the Knoxville Civic Center last weekend. The first game was a 7-1 blowout win for Peoria, with the Bears' lone goal coming from Austin Hervey in the third period. Hetenyi got the hook halfway through the game, and Patrick Spano finished the game in net. The Ice Bears responded the following night, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the second period, then score the winning goal with less than three minutes remaining in regulation to win 4-2. A major scrap ensued at the game's conclusion, mainly involving Knoxville enforcer Tyler Howe and Peoria goaltender Storm Phaneuf, leading to a near-bench brawl. Howe's involvement in the on-ice incident earned him an eight-game suspension and head coach Jeff Carr a one-game suspension, to be served on Saturday night in Evansville. Following the weekend, the Ice Bears traded forward Chris Izmirlian to the Macon Mayhem for future considerations.



- 12/10: Justin MacDonald called up to Adirondack Thunder (ECHL) - 12/18: Tyler Deresky called up to Rapid City Rush (ECHL)

About Evansville Thunderbolts: The Evansville Thunderbolts is the area's only professional hockey team. The Thunderbolts are a proud member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). The team is owned and operated by VW Sports, L.L.C, a subsidiary of VenuWorks, Inc.

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Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from December 21, 2017

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