Keegan Bruce opens scoring at 5:36 into the 1st period and the 2017 Teddy Bear Toss is official. The plush toys on the ice will go to Children’s Hospital of Birmingham to make Christmas a little brighter. Assists from Josh Harris and Darius Cole (14:24). Evansville will answer though to tie it up with 11:03 on the clock. Steven Phee will take the Bulls back up by one with a nice wraparound goal with 2:02 to go. Nate Mitton and Brandon Fehd assist and the Bulls will go to break up 2-1. Shots on goal BIR 9 – EVN 8.
The 2nd period saw lots of physical hockey but the Bolts double Birmingham’s shots at 14-7. Evansville manages to tie the game with 32 seconds left to go to the locker room at 2-2.
The 3rd period saw Birmingham hammered with 6 minor penalties and the penalty kill unit worked furiously to keep the Bolts out even at 5-on-3 more than once. Evan Schultz gets things started with a power play goal with assists from Josh Harris and Keegan Bruce (13:19) but Evansville will take advantage of a power play to even it up at the 11:28 mark. The Bolts again net a power play goal at 8:41 to take the lead back but Nate Mitton answers with goal at 8:14 to tie it at 4 each. Assists come from Phil Tesoriero and Shane Topf. Evansville puts in another with 2:17 to go to take the lead for good. The Bulls get one more chance to stay in this one after a roughing call gives them a power play with 37 seconds to go. Coach Hicks decides to pull Parks with the face-off in Evansville’s end to get the 6-on-4 advantage but the chance slips away as the Bolts steal the face-off and hit the empty net to seal the deal at 6-4 (00:26). Shots go double for Evansville again (15-7) for obvious reasons and the total comes to EVN 37 – BIR 23.
A crowd of 2,318 (that brought 400 Teddy Bears) still cheered the Bulls efforts for the the 3 game weekend as they pick up 4 points in the standings and showed overall that they’re not going away.
The Bulls next 3 games are on the road and they return to Pelham December 29th to take on the Macon Mayhem. We hope to see you then.