PENSACOLA, FL. – The Rail Yard Dawgs battled back from two goals down early, but fell in the closing minutes 5-4 to the Pensacola Ice Flyers on Friday night. Brady Heppner, Nick DeVito, Travis Armstrong, and Jeff Jones scored for Roanoke.
The Dawgs had a decent first period, but two rebound goals by the Ice Flyers put them down by two at the first intermission. Douglas Elgstam made it 1-0 just 43 seconds into the action, and Marcus Russell made it 2-0 for the hosts at the 15:43 mark. Roanoke outshot Pensacola 10-9 in the first 20 minutes.
The second period was dominated by the Dawgs. Heppner put Roanoke on the board at 5:22 off of Casey Winn’s first pro assist, with Matt O’Dea getting the secondary apple. Just 91 seconds later, DeVito and Nenadal broke out on a 2-on-1 shorthanded chance and DeVito tied the game at 2-2. Armstrong’s blue-line blast on the power play gave Roanoke a 3-2 lead at the 13:41 mark, but Cory Dennis’s first pro goal knotted the game back at 3-3 with 2:28 remaining in the middle frame. That score held entering the final period.
Roanoke dictated the flow of the third period for long stretches, but it was Pensacola who took the lead via Elgstam at 14:23 to make it 4-3 for the Ice Flyers. Jones wasted no time, tying the game at 4-4 just 42 seconds later. A blast by Brennan Blaszczak reinstated the Pensacola lead just 25 seconds after the Roanoke equalizer, and the Dawgs couldn’t find the tying score in the final minutes of the game.
Roanoke’s Austyn Roudebush saved 19-of-24 shots. Pensacola’s Cody Karpinski stopped 27-of-31 shots, earning his third win in three tries over his former team.
The Rail Yard Dawgs will take on the Pensacola Ice Flyers Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. EST. Wisler Plumbing and Air Family Four Packs, group tickets, 2022-2023 season tickets, and single game tickets for home games are on sale now, and you can listen to the games on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network via Mixlr or watch it on HockeyTV.