ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (21-8-3) won their second consecutive overtime game in another contest that they never led in, overcoming the Pensacola Ice Flyers (14-16-2) in an incredible 4-3 overtime comeback at Berglund Center on Friday night. CJ Stubbs scored the game-winning goal, as Brandon Picard, Brenden Stanko, and Jacob Kelly added third period goals for Roanoke. It marked the tenth win by the Dawgs over the course of their last 11 games.
It was a pretty even start to the game in the first period, as both teams took more than half of the frame to feel each other out. A centering pass by Pensacola’s Nick Leitner would find Ivan Bondarenko at 13:27, and he tapped the puck just across the goal line from the left post to open the scoring for the visitors. At 16:56, a rebounding puck in the low slot was snapped in by Adam Keyes for the Ice Flyers to give them a 2-0 lead. The Dawgs would start the second period on the power play, but trailed 2-0.
The second period saw a much more physical display by the Dawgs, with big hits galore layered throughout the period. Goaltender Austyn Roudebush and defenseman John Macdonald each landed massive connections among other hard collisions for the Dawgs, but three Pensacola power plays and another by Roanoke all ended up empty. Heading to the third period, the Dawgs still trailed by a pair.
The Dawgs finally started digging into the deficit in the third period, as Picard’s goal came after he flipped the puck from behind the net towards the left goal line. The puck bounced off of a Pensacola skate into their own net, and it was a 2-1 game at 4:49. Roanoke continued to mount pressure, and on its fourth power play chance, a shot by Stubbs was tipped along by Stanko for the first tying goal at 14:50. It seemed as though the Ice Flyers had responded effectively when Malik Johnson tucked a beautiful breakaway goal to reinstate the lead at 3-2 for the visitors with just 96 seconds left in regulation. That didn’t faze the Dawgs, who rallied once again to tie the game at 3-3 when Kelly blistered a shot from the left wing circle at 18:59. Roanoke outshot Pensacola 5-2 in the overtime frame, and it was a rebound score for Stubbs at the 3:40 mark in the extra frame that gave the Dawgs the second point. Roanoke has now won 14 of its last 17 games, and the Dawgs have won seven out of nine overtime results this year.
Roudebush saved 29-of-32 shots faced for Roanoke, while Kaden Fulcher saved 33-of-37 shots faced for Pensacola. Roanoke went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Pensacola went 0-for-4 on its chances.
The Rail Yard Dawgs will stay home tomorrow night, January 27, to take on the Pensacola Ice Flyers. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 P.M. EST at Berglund 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: Ryan Hunt