01/11/2018 8:32 AM -
The Thunderbolts found their offense and played solidly at both ends this past weekend, taking a point in Macon and taking down the Bulls in Birmingham for three out of four possible points on the weekend. Waiver pick-up Nick Lazorko would pay instant dividends and Dylan Clarke regained his scoring touch. Now a big test approaches with a home and home against rival Peoria Rivermen, followed by a matinee weekend finale against Mississippi.
Weekend In Review:
The weekend would get off to a great start in Macon, as Lazorko scored his first goal in an Evansville uniform only 45 seconds into his first game. Despite constant bombardment, the Thunderbolts failed to extend the lead, and Macon would jump back in the second period to take a 2-1 lead. In the final minutes, Bo Driscoll would score to force overtime in his first game with Evansville this season, but Macon would take the game in overtime, 3-2. The Bolts trailed at the start of the first and second periods, but would take control as Clarke scored twice, including his 100th professional goal, and a three-assist effort by Lazorko. Frank Schumacher, Chase Nieuwendyk and Brandon Lubin would also add goals. The third period would see some chippiness and two fights broke out as Lee Christensen took on Alex Taulien and Driscoll went after Phil Tesoriero.
The Weekend Ahead:
The weekend begins with a grudge match double-header against the Peoria Rivermen on Friday night at Peoria’s Carver Arena, before returning to Ford Center on Saturday. The final game of the three Evansville will play will be against the Mississippi RiverKings. Both games against Peoria are scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. CST, while the Sunday game against Mississippi will begin earlier, at 3 p.m. CST.
Scouting the Opponents:
The Rivermen had two games last weekend, playing in Mississippi and returning home to face Knoxville. Peoria jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period off goals by Mike Gurtler, Ben Oskroba and Connor Gorman, and led 5-1 in the second period, with goals from Barber and Will Smith. The Rivermen would then have to hold off a comeback by the RiverKings, who got back to within a single goal, but Peoria would emerge victorious, scraping by with a 5-4 win. The next night back in Peoria, the Rivermen would trail twice, 1-0 in the first period, and 2-1 in the third. Gurtler and Dustin Jesseau would score the tying goals, and in overtime, a Alec Hagaman would score a rare overtime penalty shot goal to win it 3-2.
Matt Harrington would score twice on Friday against Peoria, helping lead the near-comeback against Peoria, with other goals coming from Fox and Cody Walsh. The RiverKings’ luck would not improve the following night, also falling by a 3-1 score against the Fayetteville Marksmen, with the lone goal coming from Devin Mantha. Mississippi hosts Knoxville this upcoming Friday, and heads to Huntsville on Saturday, before taking the ice in Evansville on Sunday afternoon.
About Evansville Thunderbolts: The Evansville Thunderbolts is the area’s only professional hockey team. The Thunderbolts are a proud member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). The team is owned and operated by VW Sports, L.L.C, a subsidiary of VenuWorks, Inc. www.evansvillethunderbolts.com