KNOXVILLE, TN. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (27-12-8) completed the weekend sweep on Saturday night against the Knoxville Ice Bears (16-27-4), taking a 5-2 road win at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. Dominiks Marcinkevics and Brendan Pepe each scored twice, Anthony Cinato had one goal, and Tyler Roy stopped 25-of-27 shots in the victory.

The first period was fairly sloppy between both teams, with each team registering seven shots on goal in the first 19 minutes of the game. Both teams killed off one penalty a piece before Roanoke opened the scoring in the final minute of the frame. A Jacob Kelly pass teed up a one-timer by Pepe from just inside the Knoxville zone, and a knuckling shot rattled home at 19:30. The Dawgs took that 1-0 lead into the break. 

The second period was initially controlled by Knoxville, with the Dawgs registering just one shot on goal in the first 13 minutes of the period. Roanoke’s defense still held strong, and the offense roared to life late in the frame. A clearance by Savva Smirnov sprung a breakaway for Cinato, and he finished off his own rebound after the first shot attempt was saved to make it 2-0 at 14:44. Pepe’s second of the night came just 38 seconds earlier, as a 2-on-1 chance between Josh Nenadal and Alex DiCarlo ended up leading to a low slot finish by the Roanoke defenseman to make it 3-0 at 15:22. Marcinkevics rifled home his first goal of the night at 16:43 from the left wing on a great centering pass by Xavier Filion, as the Dawgs rattled off three goals in less than two minutes. That 4-0 advantage held heading to the third period.

An early power play chance for Knoxville finally allowed the Ice Bears to get on the board via Justin Cmunt at 2:32. Roanoke’s John Macdonald and Knoxville’s Sam Dabrowski ended up dropping the gloves at 7:25 in a spirited tilt. Several additional power play chances allowed Knoxville to make it a two-goal game in the closing minutes, as Rex Moe’s goal at 19:04 brought the score to 4-2. An empty-netter by Marcinkevics would seal the victory for Roanoke, as the Dawgs completed their first sweep since January 18-20. 

Zane Steeves saved 22-of-26 shots faced in net for Knoxville. Roanoke went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Knoxville went 2-for-8 on its chances.

The Rail Yard Dawgs will stay on the road on Thursday morning, March 14, to take on the Fayetteville Marksmen. Puck drop is slated for 10:00 A.M. EST at Crown Coliseum, and you can watch the game on Flo or listen for free on Mixlr. Playoff packages will go on sale on Monday, March 11 at 10 A.M., and can be purchased by contacting the Rail Yard Dawgs office. Other season 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: Weslie Rouse