EVANSVILLE, IN – The Thunderbolts play just a single game this weekend at the Ford Center, riding the wave of a three-game winning streak.  Evansville won back to back games last weekend against the Knoxville IceBears.  The wins haven’t been coming easy, as one of the three wins was in overtime and another in a shootout.  The team did stamp a decisive win last Saturday in a three to nothing shutout.  Columbus comes into town on Friday as their only game for the weekend as well.

Evansville Trends

  • Tanner Milliron has given up just one goal in his last three games combined (175 minutes)
  • The Thunderbolts are still undefeated when Justin MacDonald scores a goal
  • Evansville is 5-2 in their last seven games
  • Thunderbolt penalty kill has only allowed one goal in 11 power plays over the last five games
  • Stephon Thorne has scored two goals in each of the last two games.  He has a combined seven goals with Evansville and Fayetteville for the year.

Columbus Trends

  • The Cottonmouths have only scored more than two goals once since October 29th.  That was in a 5-3 loss to Pensacola.  That’s a span of 10 games.
  • Columbus is tied for last in the SPHL standings
  • Only three players on the active roster have a positive +/- rating: Derek Gingera (+3), Spencer Galbraith (+1), and Ben Bauer (+1)
  • Goalie Brandon Jaeger has faced an average of over 37 shots per game in the last five games.
  • This is only the second road game for the Cottonmouths since November 12th.

What to Watch For

Evansville has been rolling lately on the back of Tanner Milliron and Stephon Thorne. Columbus has to hang on and hope their opponent doesn’t get to three goals.  Will the hot goaltending of Milliron continue or will Columbus figure out how to put pucks in nets and explode on Evansville?

If Columbus is going to snap out of the scoring funk guys like Derek Gingera and Riley Spraggs will need to lead the charge.

Evansville has been doing just enough to win some hockey games. Three of their five wins have come in either overtime or via shootout.  The other two have been on shutouts.  If the team wants to build consistency and rack up wins, finishing off more teams in 3-2 and 2-1 hockey games will be necessary.

Prediction

The Thunderbolts are trending upward at the same time Columbus is sinking like a rock. Neither team is showing reason to believe their trends won’t continue.  Evansville should win at home on Friday.

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