12/14/2019 12:24 AM -
Four weeks ago, the Thunderbolts handed Peoria Rivermen their first victory, in a shootout, by a 4-3 score. Four weeks later, Peoria has only lost once since, and Evansville had continued to improve, winning five of their last six games, and four straight entering the evening. The Thunderbolts once again came back from an early two-goal deficit, took a brief lead, and forced overtime after Peoria had tied, and once again, the result was the same, and Evansville would win once again, 4-3 in a shootout. The Thunderbolts and Rivermen face off once again on Ford Center ice tomorrow night at 7:15pm CT. Evansville players will wear specialty jerseys for Peanuts Night, presented by the Evansville Courier-Press, and the jerseys will be auctioned off after the game. For tickets, call (812)422-BOLT (2658), buy online at EvansvilleThunderbolts.com, or buy tickets in person at the Ford Center Box Office.
After going down 2-0 in the first period, the Thunderbolts would mount a rally in the second period. Matthew Barnaby got things started with a goal on a rebound, assisted by Felix Kronwall, at 9:19. Only 41 seconds later at the 10:08 mark, Derek Sutliffe would score on a perfect deflection, off a shot from Kyle Thacker, also assisted by Austin Plevy. Sutliffe would score once again on a net-front drive a few minutes later at the 13:58 mark, from Brandon Lubin and Seth Swenson on the power play. Peoria would come back to tie later in the period, and after a scoreless third period, the game would go to overtime. Despite an overtime where the Thunderbolts outshot Peoria 10-0, with six shots on a 4-on-3 power play, Eric Levine would hold down the fort for Peoria, and the game required a shootout. Jake Smith scored first, in round one, on a shot off the post and in. Tied 1-1 entering the bottom of round five, Seth Swenson would score the winning goal, winning the shootout, 2-1, and the game for Evansville, 4-3.
Sutliffe finished with two goals, Swenson finished with the shootout-winning goal and an assist, and Barnaby finished with one goal. Lubin, Plevy, Thacker and Kronwall finished with one assist each. Braeden Ostepchuk made 31 saves in regulation and overtime, and kept out four of five Peoria shootout attempts, for his fifth win of the season.