Peoria, Il.:  The 2023-24 season may be done, but the Thunderbolts have much to be proud of over the course of this season, concluding with a 5-2 loss in Peoria on Friday night.

Evansville trailed 1-0 in the first period on a Rivermen goal from Alec Baer, before tying the game at 1-1 late in the second period with a Scott Kirton goal at 17:55, as the Thunderbolts progressively picked up more momentum.  The Thunderbolts’  momentum peaked in the third period, with near-full control of the gameplay in all three zones, and it resulted in Evansville taking a 2-1 lead as Lincoln Hatten scored from Logan vande Meerakker and Mark Zhukov at 8:00.  A late penalty call on Evansville flipped things around against the Thunderbolts however, as the Rivermen tied the game at 14:25, followed by a couple more quick goals to take back the momentum, which they rode to a 5-2 victory. 

Kirton and Hatten each finished with one goal, while Cole Ceci finished with 30 saves on 34 shots. Despite the bitter ending, the Thunderbolts enjoyed a magnificent turnaround of a season, recovering from a 1-9-1 start to make the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, upsetting the top-seeded Birmingham Bulls in the first round of the playoffs and coming minutes away from forcing the 2nd-seeded Rivermen to a winner-take-all third game.  That momentum can be expected to continue into next season, with a slightly shorter offseason separating Evansville from the start of 2024-25, when the Thunderbolts begin their next campaign to prove that this season’s regular season and post-season success was no fluke.

Season tickets for the 2024-25 season are on sale now.  Call 812-422-BOLT or visit our all-new website ( 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.