Thunderbolts Bounce Back to Split Series

Photo: Bryan Meeks

The Evansville Thunderbolts responded to Friday’s defeat with a 4-2 victory on Mossy Oak Night, splitting the series with the Mayhem at one game apiece.

Coming off a regulation defeat on Friday night, the visiting Thunderbolts got off to a hot start Saturday. They created multiple odd-man rushes and eventually capitalized five minutes into the tilt. Matthew Barnaby fed a cross-crease pass to Seth Swenson, who tapped the puck into the net to give Evansville its first lead of the weekend.

Stephen Pierog responded with his second goal in as many days 6:21 after the Thunderbolts’ strike. He redirected a point shot taken by Jarret Kup after an offensive zone faceoff win, tying the score at one goal each.
Josh Cousineau fought Braden Hellems midway through the middle stanza, which prefaced a penalty parade on both fronts. The Mayhem and Thunderbolts alternated sending players to the penalty boxes, which eventually cost the home side. Evansville ended up with a 4-on-3 man-advantage. Connor Sanvido capitalized after executing a toe drag and shoveling the puck over Kevin Entmaa’s glove to regain Evansville’s lead.

Macon fell behind by a pair early in the third period. Stanislav Dzakhov wrapped the puck around from behind the net and tucked it through Entmaa’s five-hole to give Evansville its first insurance lead of the weekend. The visitors built upon it five minutes later when Austin Plevy found himself on a breakaway and snuck a shot inside the left post.

David Powlowski netted a consolation goal in his Mayhem debut, striking on a late Macon power play to bring his team within two. However, the Mayhem could not erase the deficit they fell into to start the third period, and fell by a 4-2 score.

Entmaa was handed his 5th regulation loss, stopping 24 of 28 shots. Braeden Ostepchuk turned aside 25 of 27 for his second win of the season. The Mayhem will face the Pensacola Ice Flyers next Wednesday night on Thanksgiving Eve, followed by WWE Night at the Macon Centreplex next Saturday at 7:00 pm ET.