PENSACOLA, FL. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (17-7-3) outhustled the Pensacola Ice Flyers (13-15-0) all night long in a 5-2 shelling at the Pensacola Bay Center on Friday night. Justin Daly scored twice, John Macdonald added three points (one goal, two assists), and Matt O’Dea and Dom Marcinkevics added goals. Roanoke held Pensacola to just 19 shots on goal in a stingy defensive performance
The Dawgs and Ice Flyers both took the first ten minutes of the game to find their respective footing, equaling each other at four shots on goal by the second media timeout. Then, Roanoke roared to life. It started with Roanoke’s Marcinkevics forcing a turnover on the forecheck behind the Pensacola net, and his centering feed bounced off a few skates before Daly let go off a beautiful backhanded shot to open the scoring at 12:24 unassisted. Daly wasn’t done yet, as a turnover forced by Roanoke’s Macdonald turned into a 3-on-1 odd-man rush. Macdonald found Brenden Stanko, who made the extra pass over to a one-timer from the right-wing by Daly that made it 2-0 at 15:30. Just 64 seconds later, Roanoke captain Mac Jansen poked a puck away from Pensacola and sprung a 2-on-1 breakaway for Alex DiCarlo and O’Dea. DiCarlo’s centering pass was hammered in by O’Dea to make it 3-0 for the visitors. The Dawgs killed off one penalty and entered the first intermission still down a man, but led by three after 20 minutes.
The second period was more of the same from the Dawgs. Even while starting the period down a man and going back onto the penalty kill soon after, Roanoke added to its lead once it got back to full strength. Macdonald’s long-range shot was blocked right to the path of Marcinkevics, who easily fired it into the net to make it 4-0 at the 3:13 mark. That ended the night for Pensacola goaltender Riley Morris, who was relieved by Stephen Mundinger. It was finally Macdonald’s turn to light the lamp at 13:07, when a great combination between Brendan Pepe and Stanko allowed Stanko to zip a cross-ice pass to Macdonald. The Roanoke defenseman blasted the puck into the net to make it 5-0 for the Dawgs, and Roanoke held that advantage into the second break. The Dawgs allowed just 12 shots on goal in the first 40 minutes.
The final 20 minutes saw Roanoke mostly trying to take its large lead to the finish line. Pensacola did tack two goals on the board, first on a rebound by Houston Wilson at 2:41 and again on an awkward bouncing puck that was poked by Ivan Bondarenko to make it 5-2 at 10:14. But the Dawgs allowed just one shot on goal over the last six or so minutes of regulation, sealing their sixth straight victory and their first in regulation at Pensacola since March 2, 2018.
Austyn Roudebush made 17 saves on 19 shots faced for Roanoke, while Morris stopped 8-of-12 shots faced for Pensacola before he was relieved by Mundinger, who saved 11-of-12. Roanoke was 0-for-5 on the power play, while Pensacola went 0-for-3.
The Rail Yard Dawgs will stay on the road tomorrow night, January 13, to take on the Pensacola Ice Flyers. Puck drop is slated for 8:00 P.M. EST at the Pensacola Bay Center, and you can watch the game on Flo or listen for free on Mixlr. Ticket packages, group tickets, and single game tickets are on sale now by contacting the Rail Yard Dawgs office or visiting the Berglund Center box office.
Photo Credit: Michele Hancock