Thunderbolts aim to ring in the new year with weekend wins

Thunderbolts aim to ring in the new year with weekend wins
(Source: Pro-Thunderbolts)

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - After a brief Christmas break, the Bolts look to rebound from their loss to Knoxville on Dec.  23 that ended their five-game win streak, which tied a franchise record.  They will have a chance at revenge in Knoxville, in addition to renewing their Tri-State rivalry with the Peoria Rivermen, whom they have not seen since November.

Weekend In Review:

The Thunderbolts had both games at home last weekend prior to Christmas, taking on the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs on Friday and Knoxville on Saturday.  Friday was the final time of the 2017-18 regular season that the Bolts would take on Roanoke, having won both meetings in Roanoke earlier this season.  The third meeting would be the closest, with the game being pushed into overtime.  Dylan Clarke scored the goal in overtime, sweeping the Rail Yard Dawgs in the regular season.  Clarke finished with two goals on the night, along with John Scorcia.  The following night, the Thunderbolts' win streak would be halted by the Knoxville Ice Bears behind a three-goal effort in the second period by Knoxville.  Down 4-1, Evansville mounted a third period comeback with goals from Tyler Vankleef and Dylan Clarke to make it a 4-3 game.  Lee Christensen hit the post, nearly tying the game.  However, that would be as far as Evansville would get and Knoxville escaped with the two points.

The Weekend Ahead:

The Bolts will make their first trip to Peoria this season as they take on the Rivermen at Carver Arena on Friday, Dec. 29.  Following the game, the Bolts head to Tennessee for a rematch against the Knoxville Ice Bears at the Knoxville Civic Center on Saturday Saturday, Dec. 30, before returning home to take on Peoria again at Ford Center on New Year's Eve.  Following the game, be sure to stick around for a special in-arena fireworks display to celebrate the end of 2017.  The games against Peoria are scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. CST, and the game in Knoxville is scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m. CST.  All games will be streamed on SPHL Live as well as the Thunderbolts MixLr Radio Network.

Scouting the Opponent:

  • Peoria Rivermen:
    • Record: 13-6-1, 27 Points, 2nd Place
    • Evansville 17-18 Record vs.  Peoria: 1-1-1
    • Leading Goal Scorer: Jacob Barber (9 Goals)
    • Leading Point Scorer: Dave Pszenyczny (22 Points)
    • Primary Goaltender: Eric Levine (10-2-0, 2.60 GAA, .921 Save %)

The Rivermen split their two games last weekend, starting with a 5-1 loss to the Mississippi RiverKings on Friday the 22nd, with their lone goal coming from Ben Oskroba in the third period.  Eric Levine allowed five goals on 29 shots, but got the start against Roanoke the following night, and would stop 31 of 32 as Peoria defeated the Rail Yard Dawgs 6-1, with goals coming from Pszenyczny, Mike Gurtler, Will Smith, Cody Dion, Connor Gorman and Alec Hagaman.

  • Knoxville Ice Bears:
    • Record: 10-8-1, 21 Points, 7th Place
    • Evansville 17-18 Record vs.  Knoxville: 1-2
    • Leading Goal Scorer: Anthony Flaherty and Josh Erickson (8 Goals)
    • Leading Point Scorer: Berkley Scott (17 Points)
    • Primary Goaltender: Zoltan Hetenyi: 9-7-1, 3.08 GAA, .912 Save %)

Following their 5-3 victory in Evansville, the Ice Bears had only two days off before hitting the ice the day after Christmas, and earning another two points with a 4-2 win over the Fayetteville Marksmen.  Lawrence Cornellier scored twice, with other goals coming from Scott and Eliot Grauer.  Hetenyi made 28 saves on 30 shots in the win.  Before hosting the Bolts, Knoxville hosts Huntsville on Friday night.

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