For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2017
DAWGS COME UP SHORT AGAINST COTTONMOUTHS, 6-3
Roanoke trails Columbus by three points for final playoff spot
ROANOKE, VA – Jackson Brewer netted his fourth goal in the last two games and Steve Mele had two assists but the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs were defeated by the Columbus Cottonmouths, 6-3, Friday night at the Berglund Center.
Columbus struck first in the first period when Andy Bathgate beat Ryan de Melo with a backhander on a breakaway. It extended its advantage early in the second on a David Gingera goal from the right wing to make it 2-0.
Roanoke got itself on the board in the final 30 seconds of the second. Mele fished the puck out of the corner and teed up Brewer for a one-timer in the slot. He rammed it past Spencer Bacon and the Rail Yard Dawgs cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Cottonmouths wasted little time in the third as Keegan Bruce lit the lamp just 40 seconds into the frame. Dmytro Babenko countered for the Dawgs just over a minute later however when he settled down a bouncing puck in front of the net and slammed it home to make it 3-2.
Columbus would then respond with three unanswered goals as Bruce converted a one-timer from Bathgate, Alexander Taulien finished on a 2-on-1 break and Craig Simchuk buried an empty-net goal.
The Rail Yard Dawgs got one back in the final minutes by way of a professional milestone. Alex Vazquez hammered a slap shot from the point that bounced off a Columbus defender and found the back of the net to bring the score to 6-3. Signed to a contract before the game, it was Vazquez’s first professional goal in his first professional game.
Mele was the lone multiple point-getter for the Rail Yard Dawgs with two assists and de Melo allowed five goals on 27 shots in his first game back from a nine-game stint on injured reserve.
Columbus improved to 19-26-4 in the win while Roanoke fell to 16-27-7. The Rail Yard Dawgs now trail the Cottonmouths by three points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the SPHL.
The two teams will renew acquaintances for the second of a back-to-back set on Saturday night. It’s the penultimate home game of Roanoke’s regular season and Fan Appreciation Night at the Berglund Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
2017-18 Rail Yard Dawgs season tickets are on sale now! Seats can be reserved by visiting the Rail Yard Dawgs office inside of the Berglund Center or over the phone at 540-344-3294.