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Thunderbolts Week Ahead: Thunderbolts Return Home to Host Knoxville and Birmingham

February 19, 2020 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Evansville Thunderbolts News Release

Evansville, Ind: After a busy three game weekend in Peoria, the Thunderbolts are back at the Ford Center this week, hosting the Knoxville Ice Bears and Birmingham Bulls.

Week In Review:

The Thunderbolts started the three-game series in Peoria with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Rivermen on Thursday. Cooper Jones and Matthew Barnaby scored goals in regulation, both goals erasing one-goal deficits. In the shootout, Zane Jones and Austin Plevy picked up goals, while Brian Billett held the door shut on all four Rivermen attempts. Billett was the game's first star, stopping 41 of 43 shots in regulation and overtime, including a great save against Alec Hagaman on a breakaway in overtime. Friday's game would be a 4-1 loss, with the lone goal coming from Derek Sutliffe, who picked up his 20th goal of the season. Sunday's game was the roughest of the weekend, and the roughest game of the year for Evansville, with well over 100 penalty minutes, 11 fighting majors, and 5 game misconducts handed out. The Thunderbolts would be barely defeated by a 2-1 score, with Demico Hannoun scoring for Evansville in the second period, and the Thunderbolts just barely missing on several late chances.

The Week Ahead:

The Thunderbolts host the Knoxville Ice Bears on Friday at 7:15 pm. The first 1,200 fans in attendance will receive a replica miniature ice resurfacing machine, presented by Rideout's Transmission. After a day off on Saturday, the Thunderbolts host the Birmingham Bulls on Sunday night at 7:15 pm.

Scouting the Opponent:

Knoxville Ice Bears:

Record: 24-15-4, 52 Points, 3rd Place

Leading Goal Scorer: Gehrett Sargis (17 Goals)

Leading Point Scorer: Scott Cuthrell (46 Points)

Primary Goaltender: Joseph Murdaca (15-6-1, .919 Save %)

Thunderbolts 19-20 Record vs KNX: 2-2-2

The Ice Bears would defeat the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs on Friday night on home ice by a 5-2 score, behind goals from Lucas Bombardier, Scott Cuthrell, Gehrett Sargis, Stefan Brucato, and Dwyer Tschantz. The following night's rematch was much closer, as Brucato, Cuthrell, and Anthony McVeigh each scored in regulation, but Roanoke would force overtime. Josh Pietrantonio would emerge as the overtime hero with only 19 seconds remaining to win it for Knoxville, 4-3.

Birmingham Bulls:

Record: 14-19-6, 34 Points, 8th Place

Leading Goal Scorer: Jacob Barber (17 Goals)

Leading Point Scorer: Jacob Barber (41 Points)

Primary Goaltender: Austin Lotz (7-4-2, .914 Save %)

Thunderbolts 19-20 Record vs BHM: 3-1-0

On Friday, Birmingham would take a 2-1 lead in the first period against Huntsville, off goals from Mike Davis and Jacob Barber. Russell Jordan would also find the back of the net later in the game, but the Havoc would storm back and take full control, winning 8-3. The Bulls would also fall in the following night's rematch, a 3-0 shutout for the Havoc. On Tuesday against the Ice Flyers, Peter de Coppi and Cole Stallard would score in the second period to build a 2-0 lead for the Bulls, before the Ice Flyers came back to tie in the third period. Russell Jordan would score the deciding goal late in regulation, winning it for Birmingham, 3-2. Birmingham plays in Macon on Saturday before traveling to Evansville for Sunday's matchup.

Call-up Report

Parker Gahagen (Newfoundland Growlers, ECHL)

Gahagen recently returned to Newfoundland following a call-up to the AHL Toronto Marlies. Gahagen currently holds a 10-2-0 record in 12 games with Newfoundland, with a .948 save percentage.

Zachary Borsoi (Wichita Thunder, ECHL)

Borsoi has played 22 games in his stint with Wichita so far, with one goal and one assist. He also played 4 games with Adirondack this season, before joining Evansville.

Connor Sanvido (Brampton Beast, ECHL)

Sanvido has played 12 games with Brampton, scoring one goal and one assist. He has played 17 ECHL games this season, 5 of them with Fort Wayne.


Wed. 2/12: F Seth Swenson called up to Norfolk Admirals (ECHL)

Fri. 2/14: F Darius Davidson signed to three game try out

Tue. 2/18: D Felix Kronwall activated from injured reserve

Wed. 2/19: D Kenton Helgesen activated from injured reserve

Wed. 2/19: F Seth Swenson returned from call up to Norfolk Admirals (ECHL)

Wed. 2/19: F Eric Ylitalo traded to Macon Mayhem in exchange for future considerations

Wed. 2/19: D Cooper Jones traded to Macon Mayhem in exchange for future considerations

The Thunderbolts are currently competing in their fourth 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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