ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (2-1) roared past the Quad City Storm (1-2) in Game Three of the first round in the 2024 President’s Cup Playoffs on Saturday night, taking a 7-1 victory at Berglund Center to advance to the semifinals. Goaltender Austyn Roudebush stopped 30-of-31 shots faced for the Dawgs, and even added an assist. CJ Stubbs had two goals and two assists, Brendan Pepe had two power play goals, and Owen McDade, Alex DiCarlo, and Billy Roche all added goals for the Dawgs. The win by Roanoke clinched the fourth consecutive semifinal berth for the franchise. 

Roanoke had one of its best defensive showings of the season in the first period, limiting the Storm to just five shots on goal and harassing Quad City on the forecheck. At 5:09, a neutral zone turnover by Quad City turned into a 2-on-1 rush for Roanoke, and DiCarlo found McDade across the low slot to open the scoring. At 12:42, it was a massive neutral ice hit by McDade that sprung DiCarlo down the right side, and the Roanoke winger blasted the shot into the top corner to make it a 2-0 lead. The Dawgs led by a pair at the first intermission.

After zero penalties in the first period, the whistles were flying for both teams in the second period. Quad City received three power plays and Roanoke had four, with both teams capitalizing once each. The Storm would cut the deficit in half on a rip from the high slot by Logan Nelson at 3:45 to make it a 2-1 game. Pepe would reinstate Roanoke’s advantage to two at 11:54 after hitting the post shortly before, smashing in a blue-line slap shot to make it 3-1. The Dawgs took that cushion to the final period.

The game hinged on an early sequence in the third period, when a close miss by the Storm in the first half a minute of the period went wide. After a Roanoke clearance, C.J. Valerian picked off a pass in neutral ice and passed the puck to Mac Jansen. Jansen teed up the missile by Stubbs at the left-wing circle as the Dawgs made it a 4-1 game at 1:01. A second power play goal of the night from the point by Pepe at 6:58 added on for the Dawgs to make it 5-1. A Roudebush save once Quad City had emptied its net set up a length of the ice attempt by Roche, who tallied the empty-netter at 15:48 to make it 6-1. An incredible backhanded tuck off the bottom of the crossbar by Stubbs added the cherry on top at 16:43, as the Dawgs prevailed 7-1 to eliminate the sixth-seeded Storm.

Brent Moran saved 23-of-29 shots faced in net for Quad City. Roanoke went 2-for-5 on the power play, while Quad City was 1-for-5 on the power play.

Roanoke will have to await its semifinal opponent until after the end of tonight’s action at the earliest. Tickets will go on sale after the semifinal schedules are announced, and can be purchased online or by visiting the Berglund Center box office once they’re available. Other season ticket packages and group tickets are on sale now by contacting the Rail Yard Dawgs office. Roanoke’s President’s Cup Playoffs run is sponsored by Haley Toyota.

Photo Credit: Bryar Turner