The Evansville Thunderbolts have a 1-0 lead in their playoff series with the Macon Mayhem.
In front of 2,647 fans at the Ford Center Thursday, The Bolts shot down the Mayhem 2-1. Admission was free and open to the public, which drew thousands to the venue.
The game marked the first playoff victory by an Evansville-based pro team since the AAHL Evansville IceMen won the Rod Davidson Cup back in 2010 at Swonder Ice Arena.
After two scoreless periods, John Scorcia picked up the first goal in Thunderbolts playoff history, 17 seconds into the third period from Jackson Leef and Nick D’Avolio. The Bolts would strike again on a 4-on-3 power play, from playoff veteran Nick Lazorko at the 8:36 mark, walking in from the corner and putting it between the wickets of Charlie Finn. Dylan Clarke would pick up an assist on the goal as well to make it 2-0 Bolts.
Macon would score late to make it a one-goal game, but the Bolts held on late to win. For Evansville, Lazorko and Scorcia tallied the goals and Ryan de Melo made 15 saves for the victory.
The best-of-three series shifts back to Macon, as the Mayhem host Game 2 on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. CT. If a third game is necessary, it will take place again in Macon Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. CT.