ROANOKE, VA. – The Big Lick Bootleggers couldn’t get the offense started on Friday night, losing 3-1 to the Quad City Storm at Berglund Center. Chris Vella scored his first goal of the season for Big Lick, while Tom Aubrun made 29 saves in his debut in the Star City.
Following last night’s physical battle, the first period featured a heap of penalties. The teams combined for 84 penalty minutes on 19 infractions, as the bad blood continued from the prior evening. Through the mess of power plays and penalty kills, Quad City’s opening goal surprisingly came at even strength, as Mike Moran tapped in a rebound to give the Storm the lead at 18:24. That advantage held into the intermission.
The second period saw fewer penalties, but the Storm maintained their late momentum from the prior frame. At 11:43, a flubbed shot by Matt Ustaski turned into a perfect pass, and Brendan Soucie fired it into the net to make it 2-0 Storm. A quick answer on a laser by Vella at 14:28 brought Big Lick back within one, as Quad City led 2-1 at the end of the frame.
The Storm clamped down defensively on the Bootleggers in the final period, as Big Lick mustered just six shots despite trailing the whole frame. The Bootleggers simply missed a couple of wide-open chances, and a superstar save by Quad City’s Kevin Resop kept them in front. Taylor Pryce notched an empty-netter in the final minute, and the Storm escaped their first visit to the Star City with a split.
Aubrun stopped 29-of-31 shots in the net for Big Lick, while Resop made 20 stops on 21 shots faced for Quad City. Roanoke was 0-for-8 on the power play, while the Storm went 0-for-5. The game ended with 35 penalties for a total of 127 combined penalty minutes.
Big Lick will stay home to host the Huntsville Havoc on Saturday, December 31 at 6:05 p.m. at Berglund Center. Season tickets and single-game tickets are available by calling the Rail Yard Dawgs office, visiting the ‘Tickets’ page on our website, or by visiting the Berglund Center box office.
Photo Credit: Ashlie Brammer