For Immediate Release:

October 28, 2016



Roanoke drops Evansville, 3-2


EVANSVILLE, IN – Steve Mele scored twice, Brandon Anderson made 40 saves, and the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs defeated the Evansville Thunderbolts, 3-2, Friday night at the Ford Center. Roanoke earned its first win in franchise history.

Evansville struck first at 8:28 in the first period. Phil Bronner fired a shot on net from the right wing and Anderson made the initial save but did not control the rebound. John Scorcia charged the net and knocked in the rebound as he collided with Anderson, giving the Thunderbolts a 1-0 lead.

The Dawgs were out-shot 15-7 in the first period as Anderson was tested often. With under a minute to go in the period and Roanoke on the penalty kill, Evansville’s Dan Cornell let loose a slap shot from the high slot that Anderson blocked but allowed to slowly squeak between his legs. He lunged back for the goal line and held the puck, keeping his team within one.

Roanoke took control with three goals in the second. At 11:15 with the Dawgs on the power play, Tim Boyle fired a shot from the point that Michael Turner redirected past Thunderbolts netminder Tanner Milliron to tie the game at one.

Later in the middle stanza, Mele picked up a loose puck in front of the net and snapped a shot past Milliron. The tally at 17:16 gave Roanoke the lead for good as it went ahead, 2-1. Nearly two minutes later with the Rail Yard Dawgs again working on the power play, Travis Armstrong fed Tyler Gjurich below the goal line who one-touched a pass to Mele in front. He slid it between the legs of Milliron, extending the Roanoke lead to 3-1 at 19:13 in the second.

Evansville managed to halve the deficit 16 seconds later as Luke Sandler beat Anderson, cutting the advantage to 3-2.

The Thunderbolts brought sustained pressure in the third, peppering Anderson with 20 shots in the frame. But the Roanoke goaltender stood tall throughout and the score remained tied into the final minute. With four seconds left, Evansville cycled the puck to the point and Sandler let loose a slap shot that rang off the post. The puck caromed into the corner and the horn sounded, securing the Rail Yard Dawgs victory.

Mele scored two goals on three shots, Gjurich picked up a pair of assists and Anderson stopped 40 of the 42 shots he faced to earn the win. Roanoke finished 2-for-6 on the power play and was 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

The Rail Yard Dawgs improved to 1-2-0 with the victory while Evansville dropped to 0-2-1. The two teams will play again on Saturday in the Ford Center at 8:15 PM EDT.