ThunderBolts Win Seesaw Battle with the Bulls
Evansville, Ind: Following a late comeback and overtime win in Pensacola, the Thunderbolts wrapped up their short road trip in Birmingham, looking to extend the win streak to four games on Saturday night. Six of the game's 10 goals came in a back and forth third period and the Bolts ended up on top, scoring the winning goal with just over two minutes remaining - plus an empty netter - to win 6-4.
Keegan Bruce would give Birmingham the lead at 5:36 off a cross ice feed from Josh Harris. Evansville's response came a few minutes later at the 8:57 mark, as Tyler Vankleef deflected a shot through a crowd in front past goaltender Mavric Parks to tie the game back up at 1-1. The Bulls would respond on a wrap around goal by Stephen Phee to make it 2- 1. After a failed penalty shot attempt in the second period, Nick D'Avolio would make amends, scoring just after a power play expired with 32 seconds left to tie the game at two aside going into the second intermission.
The third period would be a wild one. Evansville started off unable to convert on four consecutive power plays, however not at their own fault, as Parks would start strong for Birmingham in the third. The Bulls would score on a power play of their own from Evan Schultz at 6:41 to give the Bulls a 3-2 lead. The Bolts would tie it on the power play afterward by Dylan Clarke at 8:32, and then another power play tally by Chase Nieuwendyk at 11:19 to give Evansville their first lead of the night, 4-3. The Bulls would respond again with Tomas Sholl down and out only 27 seconds later as Nate Mitton made it 4-4 at the 11:46 mark. The score would remain the same until a Bulls turnover resulted in a mad scramble in the Birmingham crease. John Scorcia was able to put it home with only 2:17 remaining to give the Thunderbolts the lead, 5-4. An empty net goal by Clarke would wrap up the scoring and the Bolts won their fourth straight game, 6-4.
For Evansville, Clarke scored two goals and three assists, Nieuwendyk scored a goal and four assists, D'Avolio finished with a goal and assist and Vankleef, along with Scorcia, -more- scored a goal each. Sholl finished with 19 saves on 23 shots for the win. The Thunderbolts return home next weekend to take on the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs for the final time this season on Friday, Dec. 22, and then the Knoxville Ice Bears on Saturday, Dec. 23. Both games are slated to begin at 7:15 p.m. cst.
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. www.evansvillethunderbolts.com
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