Evansville, In.:  Although the result on the ice was not what they had hoped for, losing 6-3, the Thunderbolts played an exciting game on Tuesday morning at Ford Center, with 7,621 in attendance for this year’s Education Day game against the Rivermen, setting a new franchise single-game attendance record.  The Thunderbolts next home game will be on Saturday, November 18th against the Quad City Storm, puck drop at 7:00pm CT.

After a first period that saw the Rivermen go ahead 1-0 on a goal from Cayden Cahill, followed by a 5 minute rush of three goals from Joseph Widmar and Ryan Nolan twice, the Thunderbolts found themselves down 4-0 at the game’s halfway point.  Following a change in goal with Sean Kuhn taking over for Michael Herringer, the Thunderbolts got going and scored to get back to within 4-1 as Scott Kirton scored on a power play from Colton Kalezic and Chays Ruddy at 16:07.

Only 2:55 into the third period, a rush to the net from Kalezic resulted in a shot going in off a Peoria defender to make it a 4-2 game, assisted by Matt Dorsey and Ruddy.  Minutes later at 6:55, Mike Gelatt made it a 5-2 game for the Rivermen, before Evansville answered back as Kalezic scored once again from Mike Ferraro and Brendan Harrogate at 8:25 to bridge the gap to 5-3.  One final goal came from an empty net strike from Nolan for the Rivermen, rounding out a hat trick and a 6-3 final score.  Although they came up short, the Thunderbolts made a game out of it late and will look to carry that momentum into Friday night’s game in Knoxville, and hopefully have made many new hockey fans out of the thousands of kids who came to their first game today.

Kalezic led the way with two goals and one assist, Kirton added one goal, and Ruddy finished with two assists.  Herringer finished with 12 saves on 16 shots, while Kuhn stopped 10 of 11 shots faced in relief. The Thunderbolts and Rivermen meet once again on Friday, December 8th at Peoria Civic Center.

Individual game tickets and group packages are on sale for this 2023-24 season.  Season tickets for the 2023-24 season are also on sale.  Call 812-422-BOLT or visit our all-new website ( for details.