Evansville, In.: Down by multiple goals on four different occasions, the Thunderbolts persisted and rallied late from 5-3 down to force overtime and defeat the Birmingham Bulls 6-5 on Friday night at Ford Center. The Thunderbolts’ next home game will be on Friday, February 2nd against the Knoxville Ice Bears, puck drop at 7:00pm CT
The Bulls grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period as Carson Rose scored on a loose puck at 5:09 and again on a cross-ice pass on a power play at 15:10. Just over a minute later at 16:27, Scott Kirton scored his first goal of the night off a deflected shot at 16:27, assisted by Brady Lynn and Vadim Vasjonkin to pull Evansville to within a 2-1 deficit after one period. 50 seconds into the second period, Brendan Soucie scored for Birmingham to make it a 3-1 Bulls lead, before Kirton scored 50 seconds later at 1:40 from Lynn and Vasjonkin to cut the Bulls lead again to one goal, 3-2. 42 seconds after Kirton’s second goal however, Rose completed his hat trick at 2:22 to make it 4-2 Birmingham. Not to be outdone, Kirton picked up his own hat trick by scoring on a rush to the net at 8:29, assisted by Vasjonkin and Benjamin Lindberg to trim Birmingham’s lead to 4-3.
The Thunderbolts ended the second period and started the third period by successfully killing a major and minor Bulls power play, however Rose scored again for the Bulls off a dump-in at 5:01 to give the Bulls a 5-3 lead. With 5:46 remaining in regulation, the Thunderbolts got to within a goal once again as Bruno Kreisz scored off a great passing play from Brendan Harrogate and Dmitri Yushkevich to make it 5-4. With Cole Ceci pulled late, Matthew Hobbs tied the game off a face-off at 18:22, assisted by Kirton and Vasjonkin to force overtime. In extra time, Myles Abbate became the hero for Evansville by scoring unassisted on a wrap-around at 1:13 to win it for the Thunderbolts 6-5.
Kirton finished with a hat trick as well as an assist, while Hobbs, Kreisz and Abbate scored one goal each. Vasjonkin tallied three assists, while Lynn finished with two assists. In goal, Ceci finished with 27 saves on 32 shots faced for his 12th win of the season. The Thunderbolts and Bulls meet again on Saturday, January 27th at Pelham Civic Complex.
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