Evansville, In.: In a strong bounce-back performance, the Thunderbolts fought hard to earn a split out of the weekend series against Roanoke, defeating the Rail Yard Dawgs 4-2 on Saturday night at Ford Center, in large part due to Chays Ruddy’s pair of second period goals. The Thunderbolts’ next home game will be on Saturday, December 9th against the Peoria Rivermen, puck drop at 7:00pm CT.
Opening the scoring for Evansville was Mark Zhukov, off a net-front scramble from Myles Abbate and Bair Gendunov at 7:22 of the first period, the goal also being the first of Zhukov’s professional career. Roanoke tied the game 5:57 into the second period as Jacob Kelly scored on a rebound opportunity. Midway through the second period, Ruddy scored his first goal off a set face-off play from Tommy Stang and Matthew Hobbs to give Evansville a 2-1 lead at 11:33. Replicating the same play, Ruddy scored once again at 16:58, this time from Matt Dorsey and Hobbs, to make it 3-1. After being denied on a penalty shot attempt in the final minute of the second period, Scott Kirton got on the scoreboard by poking home a loose puck 2:59 into the third period, assisted by Gendunov to make it a 4-1 Evansville lead. Roanoke got a late goal back from Kelly at 14:20, but the Thunderbolts weathered a late storm from Roanoke, which at one point saw them go up on a 6-on-3 man advantage with goaltender Tyler Roy pulled, as Evansville came out on top 4-2.
Ruddy led the offense with his two goals, while Kirton and Zhukov each finished with one goal. Gendunov and Hobbs each tallied a pair of assists on the night, while Cole Ceci finished with 39 saves on 41 shots for his 2nd win of the season. The Thunderbolts and Rail Yard Dawgs meet once again on Friday, February 16th at Berglund Center.
Individual game tickets and group packages are on sale for this 2023-24 season. Season tickets for the 2023-24 season are also on sale. 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 SPHL. The team is owned and operated by VW Sports, L.L.C, a subsidiary of VenuWorks, Inc. www.evansvillethunderbolts.com