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Storm ride newcomers to first win of season
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SPHL | QUAD CITY 6, EVANSVILLE 1

Storm ride newcomers to first win of season

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EVANSVILLE — The Quad City Storm wasted no time in ensuring that they would finish Friday night's game against the Evansville Thunderbolts with their first win of the season.

And much of the damage was done by players making their Storm debut.

Josh Koepplinger scored a pair of goals and Bailey Brkin held the Thunderbolts scoreless through the first two periods as the Storm cruised to a 6-1 road win.

Quad City peppered Evansville goalie Brian Billett with 22 shots on goal in the first period and scored on one of its first shots of the second as well to grab a 4-0 lead.

Koepplinger got the scoring going as the forward, playing his first game with the Storm, scored an unassisted goal 11:20 into the game to give Quad City the lead.

Brett Gravelle then scored off an assist from Joe Sova a little more than two minutes later as Gravelle's second goal of the season put Quad City up 2-0.

After newcomers scored the Storm's first two goals, a pair of players returning to the Quad-Cities combined on the third. Taylor Price took a pass from Shane Bennett and scored a power play goal with just three seconds left in the first period.

The Storm weren't as active offensively in the second quarter, but they made up for it with efficiency. Quad City scored on two of its eight shots on goal in the second period, starting with Marcus Ortiz's second goal of the season off an assist from Carter Skinkaruk 2:26 into the second.

The period was bookended by Koepplinger's second goal of the night, off assists from Cole Golka and Nick Mangone, who was also making his Storm debut.

In between, the period belonged to rookie goaltender Brkin, who was added to the Storm roster this week.

Brkin stopped all 14 Thunderbolt shots on goal in the period as Evansville narrowed QC's shot advantage. Brkin tallied 28 saves on the night.

The Thunderbolts finally managed to get one by Brkin in the third period as Peter De Coppi scored off assists from Kyle Thacker and Josh Adkins 4:07 into the period. 

Evansville couldn't get any closer, though as Golka tacked on an insurance goal, his second of the season, for the Storm with less than three minutes left.

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