ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (23-10-6) played one of their most complete games of the season, dominating the Evansville Thunderbolts (15-21-3) in a 7-0 shutout win at Berglund Center on Friday night. Savva Smirnov had a hat trick, Tyler Roy had a 31-save shutout, and Jacob Kelly, Tommy Munichiello, Mac Jansen, and CJ Stubbs each scored once for the Dawgs,

It was all Roanoke for the first 13 or 14 minutes of the action. It started with a faceoff win at 2:50 that set up a beautiful rip by Kelly to put the Dawgs on the board first. Then, Smirnov dangled the puck into Evansville territory and rattled a long-range shot off of Evansville’s Brendahn Brawley to make it 2-0 at 5:15. The Thunderbolts did play much better in the final minutes of the frame, but the Dawgs carried a 2-0 advantage into the locker room after outshooting Evansville 16-10.

The Dawgs picked up right where they left off from the first period into the second. Munichiello’s first score for the Dawgs came off of a great transition play by Stubbs and Matt O’Dea, and it was 3-0 at the 5:37 mark. Smirnov notched his second of the game on a 2-on-1 breakout, after Alex DiCarlo picked him out and Smirnov flipped a backhanded shot by Brawley. That ended Brawley’s evening, as Ty Taylor entered the game in net for Evansville. Roanoke was cruising at the end of two frames, leading 4-0 heading to the final period.

Smirnov made his memorable night even sweeter in the third, as he made an incredible move around two Thunderbolts in the high slot before firing his hat trick-clinching goal beyond Taylor at 8:50. That caused Evansville’s Kenny Britton to try and fire up his team by jumping Roanoke’s Tyson Kirkby, but Kirkby kept the gloves on and kept Britton mostly at bay. Both players received fighting majors, but Britton received a game misconduct for ‘inciting an opponent’ and the Dawgs went on the power play. DiCarlo’s second apple of the night picked out the captain Jansen for a one-timer at the left wing circle, and Roanoke’s lead grew to six at 10:57. Stubbs capped off the scoring at 18:39 by smashing home a pass by Munichiello. It marked the first time in franchise history that Roanoke recorded a hat trick and a shutout in the same game.

Brawley saved 19-of-23 shots faced, and Taylor stopped 10-of-13 shots faced in relief for Evansville. Roanoke went 1-for-2 on the power play, while Evansville went 0-for-1 on its chance.

The Rail Yard Dawgs will stay home on Saturday night, February 17, to take on the Evansville Thunderbolts. 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: Bryar Turner