Evansville, In.:  The Thunderbolts were able to rally in the first round after dropping the first game of the series and will now look to do so again in this second round series following a 7-2 loss to the Peoria Rivermen at Ford Center on Wednesday night, with do-or-die game two on Friday night in Peoria.


Although Peoria opened the scoring with a Jordan Ernst goal at 7:32 of the first period, the Thunderbolts played well in long stretches and were only outshot 10-8.  The second period proved to be the big difference, beginning with an early Cale List goal at 1:41 to make it 2-0, and the Thunderbolts could not recover after coming up short on several power play chances to shorten the deficit.  Seconds after Evansville’s final power play of the second period ended, Tristan Trudel scored at 18:03 to make it a 3-0 game.  Just after that, Jacob Kamps was ejected following a major penalty for charging, with another goal being scored at 19:33 on the ensuing power play, as Mitchell McPherson made it 4-0 Peoria.


The Thunderbolts had a much more solid third period, holding even in shots at eight-apiece, and broke the Rivermen shutout on a power play goal from Chays Ruddy at 7:37, assisted by Scott Kirton and Brendan Harrogate.  Peoria responded with a power play goal of their own as Alec Hagaman made it 5-1 at 10:47 and scored again at 12:23 to make it 6-1.  Lincoln Hatten got Evansville a second goal on the power play at 15:48 from Kirton and Ruddy, but the Rivermen finalized the scoring with a power play goal from Ernst at 19:37, ending the score at 7-2 Peoria.


Ruddy finished with a goal and assist, Hatten scored one goal, and Kirton tallied two assists.  In goal, Ceci finished with 28 saves on 35 shots.  Game two will be in Peoria on Friday, April 19th at 7:15pm CT, and if Evansville can rally to win game two, game three in Peoria will be on Sunday, April 21st at 3:15pm CT.