EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - In the final weekend of play in 2017 the Bolts took on the Rivermen twice, with a game in Knoxville in between. While they were able to take down the Ice Bears, the Rivermen had Evansville's number and won both games to distance themselves a bit more from the Thunderbolts in the standings. Regardless, the Thunderbolts end 2017 on a high note, finishing in third place, way higher than expected by many. Now the team hits the road to try to get back in the win column in Macon and Birmingham.
Week In Review:
The weekend began with the Thunderbolts' first trip to Peoria this season. After taking a 3-1 lead into the second intermission off goals by Mark Petaccio, Dave Williams and Dylan Clarke, the Rivermen would storm back to tie the game late and win in overtime. The Bolts headed off to Knoxville the following night and bounced back to a 2-1 win with goals from Petaccio and Mike Fazio and a solid performance by Jonah Imoo in net. Returning home to face Peoria again on New Year's Eve, a shaky second period would be the difference maker as the Rivermen took the game by a 5-2 score.
The Week Ahead:
The Bolts hit the road for Georgia to take on the Macon Mayhem on Friday, Jan. 5, before making the short trek west to the Birmingham suburb of Pelham, Ala., to take on the Birmingham Bulls on Saturday, Jan. 6. Friday's game in Macon will begin at 6:35 p.m. CST, while the Birmingham game is slated to begin at 7:05 p.m. CST.
Scouting the Opponent:
Record: 12-6-4, 28 Points, 4th Place
Evansville 17-18 Record vs Macon: 2-2-0
Leading Goal Scorer: Jake Trask (13 Goals)
Leading Point Scorer: Jake Trask (29 Points)
Primary Goaltender: Troy Passingham (4-2-2, 3.24 GAA, .910 Save %
The Mayhem had two games on the road last weekend, in Birmingham and in Pensacola the night after. Against the Bulls, the Mayhem would fall to a 2-0 deficit early before storming back to gain a 3-2 lead in the third period off goals by Ryan Salkeld, Seth Ronsberg and Daniel Echeverri. Birmingham would tie it late to force overtime, and in extra time it would be Echeverri scoring the game winning goal to give Macon the victory, 4-3. The next night in Pensacola, the Mayhem would lead 2-1 through the first period off goals by Ronsberg and Stathis Soumelidis before trailing 3-2 in the second period, and Soumelidis tied it back up late in the period. After a scoreless third period, Brandon Pfeil would be the overtime hero to get the win for the Mayhem. Greg Dodds would play in net for Friday, and Passingham played in goal on Saturday. The Mayhem host Roanoke tomorrow night prior to hosting Evansville on Friday.
Record: 5-13-3, 13 Points, 10th Place
Thunderbolts 17-18 Record vs Birmingham: 2-0-0
Leading Goal Scorer: Keegan Bruce (8 Goals)
Leading Point Scorer: Keegan Bruce (16 Points)
Primary Goaltender: Mavric Parks (2-11-3, 3.16 GAA, .912 Save %)
In addition to their meeting with Macon, the Bulls also had a game on Saturday, hosting the Mississippi RiverKings. Phil Tesoriero would get the Bulls on the board, but Birmingham trailed 3-1 going into the third period. Despite a strong third period effort, the Bulls would not find their way back, and fall by the same 3-1 score. Birmingham would play last night as well against the Knoxville Ice Bears, falling 6-2 in their seventh consecutive loss. Before taking on Evansville on Saturday, the Bulls host the Fayetteville Marksmen.
12/29: Sean Reynolds signed
1/01: Al Graves released
1/01: Bo Driscoll signed
1/03: Nick Lazorko signed