ROANOKE, VA. – The Big Lick Bootleggers won their fifth straight game on Friday night, beating the Knoxville Ice Bears 3-2 in the one night rebrand game for the Rail Yard Dawgs at Berglund Center. Mac Jansen scored two goals, while Gehrett Sargis tallied the game-winning score for the team’s third straight win over the top-ranked team in the SPHL.
Knoxville started off stronger than Roanoke in the opening period, and Andrew Bellant knocked a caroming puck into the net to make it 1-0 Ice Bears at 3:06. Both teams had power play chances in the period, and a 5-on-3 advantage for the Dawgs would carry into the middle frame, but it was 1-0 Knoxville after one period of play.
The second period was possibly Roanoke’s strongest of the season. Jansen tied the game during 5-on-3 play with a power play goal just 50 seconds after play restarted. He added his second goal on a rebounding puck at the 9:12 mark to put the Dawgs up 2-1. A beautiful play by Travis Broughman led to an easy finish for Sargis at 17:48, and Roanoke took a 3-1 lead into the second intermission after outshooting Knoxville 21-5 in the second period.
The final frame was a battle, with the Ice Bears furiously trying to climb back into the game and Roanoke able to maintain the lead. An Anthony McVeigh power play goal made it 3-2 with 15:19 left to play, and Knoxville had a few more chances late, but the Dawgs held on for their fifth straight win.
Former Ice Bear Sammy Bernard saved 23-of-25 shots for Roanoke, while Knoxville’s Kristian Stead stopped 37-of-40 in net for Knoxville. The Ice Bears went 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Dawgs went 1-for-5 on their man advantages.
The Rail Yard Dawgs are back tomorrow night for their final regular season home game against the Knoxville Ice Bears. Wisler Plumbing and Air Family Four Packs, group tickets, 2022-2023 season tickets, and single game tickets for home games are on sale now, and you can listen to the games on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network via Mixlr or watch it on HockeyTV.
Photo Credit: Mark Sawyer