01/04/2022 9:56 AM -
In one of the best possible ways to start the New Year, the Thunderbolts dominated the Peoria Rivermen in the biggest ever win over Peoria in franchise history, 7-3 the final score. The Thunderbolts next home game will be on Thursday, January 6th at 7:00pm CT as they host the Huntsville Havoc. For tickets, call (812)422-BOLT (2658), buy online at EvansvilleThunderbolts.com, or buy tickets in person at the Ford Center Box Office.
After outshooting Peoria 12-3 in the first period, Connor Chatham finally opened the scoring at the 16:20 mark, on the power play from Hayden Hulton and Brett Radford. In the second period, the Thunderbolts added another power play goal, scored by Brandon Lubin at 2:40, from Mike Ferraro and Cameron Cook to make it 2-0. The Rivermen responded with a power play goal of their own from Alec Hagaman 17 seconds later to cut Evansville’s lead to 2-1. Shortly afterward at 5:00, Chatham scored his second goal of the night, unassisted on a breakaway to make it 3-1. Later in the second period, Evansville scored twice to extend the lead to 5-1; Matt MacKay scored on a Peoria turnover at 14:16, while Chatham rounded out the hat trick, assisted by Brett Radford at 17:55. Peoria struck back in the final minute to trim the lead down to 5-2 after two periods.
In the third period, Chatham scored only 1:20 into the period, a power play goal from Lubin and Austin Plevy. The goal was Chatham’s fourth of the game, becoming the first Thunderbolt ever to accomplish the feat. Up 6-2, Charles Barber scored on a two-on-one rush to make it 7-2 at the 5:17 mark, assisted by Chatham and Plevy. This made Chatham only the third Thunderbolt in franchise history to tally 5 points in a single game. The Rivermen scored one final time on a 5-on-3 advantage at 10:16, bringing the score to 7-3, which became the final score.
Chatham led the way with his four goals and assist, while Lubin finished with a goal and assist. Barber and MacKay scored one goal each, while Radford and Plevy each tallied two assists. Brian Billett made 24 saves on 27 shots to pick up his 10th win of the season. It was also Billett’s 18th win as a Thunderbolt, giving him the Thunderbolts franchise record for all-time wins breaking a tie with former Thunderbolts goaltender Braden Ostepchuk. These two teams meet again on Sunday afternoon at Peoria Civic Center, face-off at 3:15pm CT.
The Thunderbolts are currently competing in their fifth 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).