FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Entering into their first three-game home weekend of the season, the Marksmen had expectation set high, riding the high of back-to-back weekend sweeps. Hosting the surging Evansville Thunderbolts, the night would see over 12 goals scored in a flurry of three periods.
There would be no less than three goals scored in every period of play on the night, and the first would set the tone for the scoring to come. With his dad in town, hot-handed Taylor McCloy would find the back of the net just over three minutes into the game. It would take not even 90 seconds for the Thunderbolts to strike back, as Jacob Smith would make it a 1-1 game. The short scoring spurts would not end there, as it would take under two minutes for Brian Bowen to earn his 20th goal of the year, and retake a Marksmen lead. The good vibes of the lead would once again take a turn for the opposite side, as the Thunderbolts’ Hayden Hulton would score the penultimate goal of the first, and make it a 2-2 game with 12 minutes to go in the first. The period would finished knotted up, and fans were ready for the fun.
The Thunderbolts would turn the corner in the second period, and strike enough to take the lead. After an immediate strike from Nick Le Sage to start the second off just over a minute in, Matthew Storia and Noah Corson would score bookended goals to give the Thunderbolts a 4-3 lead headed to the final frame. This period would be bookmarked by shown through to be a tumultuous one of play, with penalties coming in droves for both teams.
In the third period, the script would be flipped by the home team as the Marksmen would find their way to a four-goal outburst to take the game out of hands from the Thunderbolts. The scoring would start with Donald Olivieri on the power play under two minutes into the game, and keep going as Bowen, Bednard, and Cook would all the find the back of the net in what would lead to a comeback victory for the Marksmen.
With a 7-5 final on home ice, the Marksmen would find their way to their fifth straight victory, and get themselves ever-closer to the top tier of the Southern Professional Hockey League, with their trailing to Peoria drawing thinner. Fayetteville will get another chance to surpass the top as they host the Thunderbolts in two more games to close the weekend.