Thunderbolts pick up big road win at Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, AL. (WFIE) - With potential home-ice playoff implications on the line, the Thunderbolts came through with a clutch performance by coming back in the third period to force overtime, where they defeated the Birmingham Bulls 4-3 on Thursday night in Pelham. The Thunderbolts’ next home game will be on Saturday, April 1st against the Knoxville Ice Bears at 7:00pm CT. For tickets, call (812)422-BOLT (2658), go to EvansvilleThunderbolts.com, or visit the Ford Center Ticket Office.
Evansville struck first as Matthew Hobbs cashed in on a net-front pass from Jeremy Masella on the power play to make it 1-0, also assisted by Conner Jean at 6:23. The Bulls tied the game back up as Michael Gillespie scored at 18:22, before Gillespie put the Bulls ahead for the first time, 2-1 with another goal 4:29 into the second period. Down 2-1 in the third period, another power play goal from Masella at 6:54 tied the game from Matt Dorsey and Jean. At 12:55, Evansville took their second lead of the game as Cameron Cook scored from Aaron Huffnagle and Tanner Butler on the power play to make it a 3-2 Thunderbolts lead. Birmingham managed to tie the game once again as Jake Pappalardo scored at 17:05, forcing overtime. At 2:15 of overtime, Cook became the overtime hero with his second goal of the game, scoring on a rebound from Huffnagle and Felix Sasser to lead the Thunderbolts to a much-needed 4-3 comeback victory.
Cook scored two goals, Masella tallied a goal and assist, and Hobbs finished with one goal. Huffnagle and Jean each notched a pair of assists, while Trevor Gorsuch stopped 24 of 27 shots for his 15th win of the season. Tonight was the first time all season, and the first time since 1/1/22 at Peoria, that the Thunderbolts scored three power play goals in a single game. The Thunderbolts remain in 5th place in the SPHL standings but have closed the distance behind 4th-Place Roanoke to .014 win percentage, at which a finish in 4th place or higher would secure home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs next month. Roanoke plays the 1st-Place Peoria Rivermen this Friday and Saturday, and any losses will help further bridge the gap that Evansville trails. The Thunderbolts and Bulls meet again on Friday, April 7th at Ford Center.
Individual game tickets and group packages are on sale for this 2022-23 season. Season tickets for the 2023-24 season are now on sale as well. Call 812-422-BOLT or visit our all-new website (www.evansvillethunderbolts.com) 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. www.evansvillethunderbolts.com
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