Thunderbolts earn overtime win over the Bobcats

Thunderbolts hockey sitting in first place after fast start
Thunderbolts hockey sitting in first place after fast start
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:54 PM CST
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DANVILLE, IL. (WFIE) - Behind two goals from Mathieu Cloutier and a strong performance from Sammy Bernard in his first start in goal as a Thunderbolt, the Thunderbolts picked up a hard-fought win, 5-4 in overtime in Vermilion County on Friday night.  The Thunderbolts’ next home game will be on Sunday, January 22nd against the Huntsville Havoc at 3:00pm CT.  For tickets, call (812)422-BOLT (2658), go to, or visit the Ford Center Ticket Office.

The Thunderbolts started strong, taking the first lead of the game at 7:49 of the first period as Aaron Huffnagle scored from Alex Cohen and Cameron Cook.  Later at 14:39, the Thunderbolts’ lead was extended to 2-0 as Mathieu Cloutier scored a power play goal from Hayden Hulton and Kyle Thacker.  In the second period, the Bobcats battled back, as Adam Eby scored at 6:34 to cut Evansville’s lead to 2-1, before another goal from Cloutier at 8:44 from Hulton and Fredrik Wink re-established the two goal lead, 3-1.

The second half of the second period saw that 3-1 lead evaporate, as Peter DiMartino scored at 11:13 on the power play, followed by Austin Albrecht with only 26 seconds left in the period to send the game into the third period tied 3-3.  After several chances, Scott Kirton put the Thunderbolts back in front by a 4-3 score with only 5:34 remaining, assisted by Dillon Hill and Felix Sasser.  That lead however lasted only a minute and 39 seconds, as Gianni Vitali tied the game for Vermilion County with another power goal with only 3:55 to go.  The game required overtime, and with Bobcats goaltender Brett Epp out of the net to retrieve his stick, Andrew Shewfelt scored into an empty net to win it for Evansville, assisted by Hill at 1:03 of overtime.

Cloutier scored two goals, while Kirton, Shewfelt and Huffnagle scored one goal each.  Hulton and Hill each tallied two assists, while Sammy Bernard stopped 30 of 34 shots faced in goal for his first win of the season in his first start in goal as a Thunderbolt.  These two teams meet again on February 17th at David S. Palmer Arena.

Individual game tickets, season tickets and group packages are on sale for this 2022-23 season.  Call 812-422-BOLT or visit our all-new website ( for details.

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.