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Thunderbolts Upset Unbeaten Rivermen in Shootout

11/15/2019 11:52 PM -

The Rivermen came to Evansville with an unbeaten 7-0 start to this season, a record for the Rivermen franchise, as they stood atop the SPHL standings. The Thunderbolts would go down 2-0, and then would find their game, battling their way back to lead 3-2, and go to overtime, and a shootout, where Evansville would upset the Rivermen, 4-3. These two teams will face-off again at the Ford Center tomorrow night at 7:15, for Faith and Family Night. One lucky high school junior or senior will win a $12,000 scholarship to Oakland City University, and there will be a concert in the lobby immediately following the game.


Down 2-0 going into the second period, Taylor Makin would put Evansville within a goal, as he crashed the Rivermen net before Eric Levine could cover up. Matthew Barnaby and Jacob Smith picked up assists on the goal, at the 39 second mark. Minutes later, at 3:26, a Rivermen turnover would lead to another chance for Makin, and the puck would turn up free in the slot, where Austin Plevy would score the game-tying goal through a crowd, from Makin and Seth Swenson. Kenton Helgesen gave the Thunderbolts a 3-2 lead at the 12:47 mark, from Smith and Brandon Lubin, as he let a shot go from the far boards, sneaking it past Levine. Peoria would tie the game early in the third period, and both teams would battle through the remainder of regulation, and the five minutes of overtime, deadlocked 3-3. In the shootout, Derek Sutliffe scored the first goal in the second round, matched by Jacob Reichert’s tying tally to finish the second round. In the fifth round, Austin Plevy put Evansville one save away from a win, before Peoria’s Jake Henderson would force a sixth round. Plevy would score once more, and Henderson was stopped in a repeat attempt of his own, and the Thunderbolts handed Peoria their first loss of the season, 4-3 in the shootout.


Plevy scored a goal in regulation and the game-winning shootout goal, Makin had a goal and an assist, and Helgesen scored one goal. Smith tallied two assists, and Parker Gahagen got his first win as a Thunderbolt, stopping 24 of 27 shots, plus 4 of 6 shootout shots. 


For Thunderbolts tickets, call 812-422-BOLT(2658), visit, or get tickets at the Ford Center Box Office.

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See you next Season!