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Thunderbolts prepare for big weekend against Knoxville

01/02/2020 1:36 PM -

Evansville, Ind: The Thunderbolts have won yet another three games in the past week and have won 11 of their past 13 games. The two losses, however, came at the hands of the Knoxville Ice Bears, who the Thunderbolts will face, and seek revenge against, twice this weekend.


Week In Review:


On Friday and Saturday night, the Thunderbolts visited the Quad City Storm. On Friday, Demico Hannoun would get the scoring started in the second period. Tied in the third period, Austin Plevy put the Thunderbolts ahead 2-1, and Hannoun added another goal to lead the Thunderbolts to a 3-1 victory. Derek Sutliffe scored the game’s first goal on Saturday, but the Thunderbolts soon trailed 2-1. Brandon Lubin scored a power play goal in the second period to tie the game, and Sutliffe would score again to briefly put Evansville ahead in the third period, before Quad City tied the game, forcing overtime. Braden Hellems would be the hero in overtime, scoring at the 2:34 mark. On Tuesday, the Thunderbolts hosted the Huntsville Havoc, and had a great start, building a 2-0 lead on goals by Plevy and Hayden Hulton, before Huntsville stormed back to tie the game later in the first period. After a scoreless second and third period, the game would go to a shootout, where Sutliffe and Jake Smith would score a goal each to win it for the Thunderbolts, 3-2. Braeden Ostepchuk earned all three wins in net this past week, stopping 35 and 36 shots, respectively, in Quad City, and 32 on Tuesday against the Havoc.


The Week Ahead:


The Thunderbolts host the Knoxville Ice Bears on Friday night at 7:15 pm CT. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Thunderbolts winter hat, presented by Lyondellbasell. For tickets, call (812)422-BOLT (2658), buy online at, or get tickets directly at the Ford Center Box Office. On Saturday, the Thunderbolts will make their fourth trip to Knoxville this season, for a rematch with the Ice Bears. Puck drop will be at 6:35 pm CT. You can watch Saturday’s game in Knoxville on SPHL Live, or you can listen for free on the Thunderbolts Radio Network, through, the Official Thunderbolts Smartphone App, or the Thunderbolts Mixlr Channel. You can also catch Saturday’s game at the Thunderbolts’ Official Away Game Watch Party, presented by Bud Light. This Saturday’s watch party will be at the Courtyard by Marriott on Evansville’s East Side.



Scouting the Opponent:


• Knoxville Ice Bears:

◦ Record: 14-8-2, 30 Points, 5th Place

◦ Leading Goal Scorer: Scott Cuthrell, Bryce Nielsen (12 Goals Each)

◦ Leading Point Scorer: Bryce Nielsen (25 Points)

◦ Primary Goaltender: Joseph Murdaca (8-3-0, .934 Save %)

◦ Thunderbolts 19-20 Record vs. KNX: 2-2-0


The Ice Bears played four games in the past week, starting Thursday night against Huntsville. Scott Cuthrell picked up a hat trick, while Gehrett Sargis tallied a goal and an assist, with Brady Fleurent tallying three assists. The Havoc would get the upper hand, however, winning 7-4. On Friday night in Fayetteville, a late 4-4 tie would be broken in the final minute of regulation by the Marksmen, who would add an empty net goal moments later to win over the Ice Bears, 6-4. Bryce Nielsen scored twice and added an assist in the loss, and Cuthrell and Jacob Benson also scored a goal each. The losing skid would be extended further, as they fell 5-2 in a rematch with the Marksmen back in Knoxville on Saturday. Ricky Kramer and Benson scored the lone goals for Knoxville. With Joseph Murdaca back from his ECHL call-up, the Ice Bears found their way back into the win column, with a 2-0 blanking of the Macon Mayhem on Tuesday. Fleurent and Dwyer Tschantz scored the goals for Knoxville, with Murdaca making 26 saves for his 4th shutout in 11 games with Knoxville.


Call-up Report


· Parker Gahagen (Newfoundland Growlers, ECHL)

o Gahagen currently holds a 4-1-0 record in 5 games with Newfoundland, with a .925 save percentage. Gahagen made 29 saves on Monday night against the Worcester Railers.


· Zachary Borsoi (Wichita Thunder, ECHL)

o Borsoi has played 6 games in his stint with Wichita so far, with no points. He also played 4 games with Adirondack this season, before joining Evansville.


· Connor Sanvido (Fort Wayne Komets, ECHL)

o Sanvido has played 5 games with Fort Wayne (1 prior to joining Evansville), so far has no points.




Friday, 12/20: D Zachary Borsoi called up to Wichita Thunder (ECHL)

Saturday, 12/21: F Connor Sanvido called up to Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL)

Monday, 12/23: F Kenton Helgesen activated from Injured Reserve

Tuesday, 12/31: F Eric Ylitalo signed to standard contract

Tuesday, 12/31: D Felix Kronwall placed on 21-day Injured Reserve






The Thunderbolts are currently competing in their fourth season in the SPHL (Southern Professional Hockey League). Season tickets are less than $9 per game. To order your tickets for this season, call 812-422-BOLT(2658).


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.

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See you next Season!