Evansville, In.:  In an extremely back-and-forth game, the Thunderbolts had the final push of momentum but could not complete the comeback in a 5-3 loss to the Bulls on Friday night at Ford Center.   The Thunderbolts’ next home game will be on Saturday, April 6th against the Birmingham Bulls, puck drop at 7:00pm CT.


Birmingham opened the scoring with goals from Matt Wiesner at 2:54 and Scott Donahue at 8:18 to put the Bulls ahead 2-0 early.  In response, Grant Spence scored for Evansville at 13:15 from Nick Prestia to shorten the deficit to one goal, before Matthew Hobbs tied the game on a reviewed goal just over a minute later at 14:24, assisted by Myles Abbate.  The Bulls answered back in the second period, with CJ Walker scoring at 9:11 to make it 3-2 Birmingham, before Evansville ended up in penalty trouble late in the second period with a 7-minute power play awarded to the Bulls at 14:47.  On the ensuing power play, MacGregor Sinclair scored at 16:53 and Troy MacTavish at 19:48 to put the Bulls comfortably ahead 5-2.  The Thunderbolts put up a strong fight down the stretch of the third period, as Abbate scored at 16:47 from Hobbs and Lincoln Hatten to shorten the deficit to 5-3.  In the next two minutes with Cole Ceci pulled, the Thunderbolts had three excellent scoring chances, with one hitting the post, however the Thunderbolts could not bridge the gap any further.


Hobbs and Abbate each scored one goal and one assist, while Spence finished with one goal.  In goal, Ceci finished with 26 saves on 31 shots.  The Thunderbolts and Bulls meet again for the final time this regular season on Saturday, April 6th at Ford Center with the season series tied at 3-3.  These two teams will then meet in the first round of the President’s Cup Playoffs, Game One at Birmingham on Wednesday, April 10th, Game Two at Ford Center on Thursday, April 11th, and Game Three (if necessary) at Birmingham on Saturday, April 13th.