04/01/2019 9:51 AM -
Shayne Morrissey has been one of the most valuable players this year for the Evansville Thunderbolts, and in the league overall. Tonight, he played a vital role scoring twice, including the winning goal in the shootout, earning the Thunderbolts their first victory of the year against the pesky Peoria Rivermen.
Down early 1-0, the Thunderbolts would respond quickly to tie. Brandon Tucker would steal the puck from Peoria netminder Storm Phaneuf, wrapping it home to tie the game at one, unassisted at 1:54. Later on a 5-on-3 power play, Austin Frank would extend the lead to 2-1 with a shot from the point, assisted by Morrissey at 9:53. Morrissey’s regulation goal would come at a crucial time, with 47 seconds left in the first period, sniping a shot through Phaneuf to make it 3-1, assisted by Wyatt Trumbley, earning him his first professional point.
Former Thunderbolts player Beau Walker would make it a 3-2 game in the second period. Another big response goal by Scott Donahue, only 23 seconds later at 16:56, would reaffirm the two-goal lead, 4-2, assisted by Frank and Brandon Tucker. Peoria would bounce back with two more goals from Walker to round out the hat trick and force overtime, however the game would require a shootout. In what would be best described as a goaltending duel, neither side would score through six rounds, before Morrissey would finally end it in the bottom of the seventh round, winning it for Evansville, 5-4.
Morrissey led the way with two goals and an assist, while Tucker and Frank tallied a goal and assist each. Donahue picked up one goal on the night, while Braeden Ostepchuk, very much worthy of credit himself, made 40 saves, plus stopping all seven Peoria shootout attempts for the victory.