ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (29-17-5) set a new franchise record with their 29th win of the season, destroying the Knoxville Ice Bears (30-21-3) in a 7-3 rout at Berglund Center on Sunday. Dominiks Marcinkevics tallied four points, while Matt O’Dea, Mac Jansen, and Billy Vizzo each notched three points. Other Roanoke goals came from Gehrett Sargis, Alex DiCarlo, CJ Stubbs, and Brendan Pepe.
Both teams created plenty of chances in the first period, but only one shot lit the lamp before the first intermission. A wrister by Sargis at 4:21 opened the scoring for the Dawgs, as Knoxville’s Julian Sime and Roanoke’s Brody Claeys made a plethora of saves. The Dawgs led 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Roanoke lost momentum in the second period when the Ice Bears scored twice in 31 seconds during 4-on-4 action to take the lead. Ryan Devine tied the score 1-1 at 5:33, and Knoxville led on a goal by Nick Pryce at 6:04. The Dawgs responded, as Marcinkevics tipped a Chris Vella shot by Sime to tie the game at 7:10. Then, DiCarlo smashed home a pass by Jansen on Roanoke’s first power play of the game to put the Dawgs back ahead 3-2. At 13:33, it was Jansen’s turn to do the same on a feed by Vizzo, and the 4-2 advantage forced Knoxville to pull Sime for Kristian Stead. At 14:18, six players combined to earn 36 penalty minutes, with Devine earning 17 of them after he went after Marcinkevics following a save by Stead. On a different power play at the 18:11 mark in the period, Stubbs uncorked a shot from the high slot just seven seconds into the man advantage to make it 5-2 Dawgs entering the final frame.
The game was over after the Dawgs took the game by the reins in the second period, but the Dawgs wanted more. A Pepe blast on the power play at 11:12 in the third period made it 6-2, Matt O’Dea roofed a shot from the left goal line to cap off Roanoke’s run of six unanswered goals at 14:21. A consolation score by Pryce at 16:02 made the score 7-3, but the Dawgs were content with the victory over their rivals, as Roanoke clinches the season series against the Ice Bears.
Roanoke’s Brody Claeys stopped 33-of-36 shots, while Knoxville’s Sime saved 21-of-25 and Stead stopped 13-of-16. The Dawgs went 3-for-4 on the power play, their best showing of the season, while the Ice Bears’ second-ranked power play went 0-for-2.
Roanoke will stay home next Friday, March 31 at 7:05 p.m. EST against the Peoria Rivermen at Berglund Center. Single-game tickets are available now by calling the Rail Yard Dawgs office, visiting the ‘Tickets’ page on our website, or by visiting the Berglund Center box office. Playoff packages will go on sale Monday, March 27 by calling or visiting the Rail Yard Dawgs office located at Gate 1 at Berglund Center.
Photo Credit: Brian Collett // BC Captures