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Bowen’s natural hat trick wins series for Marksmen

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Coming off Saturday’s shootout loss, the Marksmen were looking to take the series from the visiting Evansville Thunderbolts on Sunday afternoon.

The opening period of the contest was nothing to marvel at; neither team recording anything until an Evansville penalty 5:30 into the game. That penalty gave the Marksmen life, and they used the powerplay and the home crowd to score a mere :35 into the penalty. Brian Bowen scored off from his skate off of a shot from Zach Tatrn, and an assist from Max Cook, the goal gave the Marksmen an early 1-0 lead.

The name of the game on Saturday was matching, but that did not carry over to Sunday. After the Marksmen goal, Evansville put the puck on the net nine times during the period. Goaltender Dillon Kelley, in his first start after his loan to the ECHL, fended off the Thunderbolts opening frame attack. The Marksmen didn’t fare much better in the remaining portion of the first, as they failed to score another goal. After scoring on their first shot of the game, they didn’t score for their next nine shots.

The second period was where the Marksmen showed who the better team was out on the ice. The period got off to a quicker start than the first, as a shot on goal was recorded in the first five minutes by Fayetteville. The scoring wasn’t far behind, as Brian Bowen put the Marksmen back on the board, only 4:05 into the period. An early goal lead to an uneventful middle portion of the second, as even penalties were nowhere to be found. The teams combined for only eight penalty minutes all game, six of which were Evansville’s.

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(Photo: Sarah Hobday)