EVANSVILLE, Ind. — After falling behind by four goals after two periods, the Quad City Storm were going to need a frantic rally to get any points from their Friday road matchup with the Evansville Thunderbolts.
They nearly got it.
The Storm scored three third-period goals to rally to within one goal with eight minutes left, but couldn't quite climb out of the deep hole they had dug in a 7-4 loss.
The Storm got on the board quickly, as they took advantage of a slashing penalty on Evansville's Seth Swenson just 25 seconds into the game. Taylor Pryce buried the power play goal past Thunderbolt goalie Brian Billett off assists from Joe Sova and Mathias Ahman at the 1:52 mark of the first.
From then on, the next two periods were all Evansville.
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Noah Corson tallied a hat trick and Matthew Barnaby and Derek Sutliffe each got single goals as the Thunderbolts scored three goals in the first period and two more in the second to take a 5-1 lead.
Corson's third goal chased Quad City goalie Ryan Mulder, who gave up four goals on 11 shots. Peter Di Salvo finished off the game, stopping 13 of the 14 shots he faced.
Jon Buttitta started the Storm's rally with a goal off assists from Tommy Tsicos and Kristaps Nimanis at the 4:20 mark of the third. That was followed about three minutes later by a power play goal from Vincent Beaudry off assists from Connor Fries and Tucker Ross.
Pryce then tallied his second goal of the night to pull the Storm within one with 8:17 left, assisted by Beaudry and Ahman.
The Storm couldn't get the tying goal, though, and Evansville's Stanislav Dzakhov scored a pair of empty net goals in the final two minutes to seal the end result.
The Storm outshot the Thunderbolts 35-27, including 13-5 in the third period. The Storm effectively killed off all six Evansville power plays, but it wasn't enough to hold the Thunderbolt offense in check.