KNOXVILLE, TN. – The Rail Yard Dawgs took too long to finally get the puck past Knoxville’s Jimmy Poreda, falling 4-1 in Game One of their first round in the 2022 President’s Cup Playoffs on Wednesday night. Mac Jansen scored the lone goal for the Dawgs.
The Dawgs had the game’s first chance in the first 40 seconds of the first period, but Poreda’s left pad stuffed a chance for Travis Broughman. An early Knoxville power play nearly yielded the game’s opening goal, but a few bouncing pucks in the crease were kept out by Roanoke. At the 6:21 mark, Knoxville’s Stepan Timofeyev opened the scoring by smashing the puck right at the far-side post to make it 1-0 for the hosts. That score held into the first intermission.
Roanoke was the stronger side to start the second period, and held Knoxville without a shot on net for more than 12 minutes of gameplay to restart play. Despite a 9-6 shots on goal advantage in the period, it was Knoxville who outlasted Roanoke’s opportunities and grabbed the game’s second goal. With less than three minutes left until the second intermission, a near turnover was retained by Dean Balsamo, who found a wide-open Andrew Bellant to make it 2-0 for the Ice Bears. Roanoke trailed by that score entering the final period.
The wall that was Poreda continued to prevail for the Ice Bears in the third period, and a power play goal by Balsamo at 8:31 gave them a 3-0 lead. Roanoke emptied its net with just over three and a half minutes remaining, and Timofeyev scored a quick empty-netter to make it 4-0. The Dawgs did finally tally a goal at 17:34 when Jansen smashed a puck by Poreda on a 6-on-5 empty net chance, but it was too late for Roanoke to mount a comeback.
Sammy Bernard saved 23-of-26 shots for Roanoke, while Knoxville’s Jimmy Poreda stopped 30-of-31 in net. The Ice Bears went 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Dawgs went 0-for-3 on their man advantages.
Roanoke is set to host Knoxville for Game Two on Saturday, April 16 at Berglund Center at 7:05 p.m. EST. Game Three, if necessary, will be played at Knoxville on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. EST. Tickets for Saturday’s game are available now online and at the Berglund Center box office, and you can watch the games on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network on HockeyTV, or listen via Mixlr. The 2022 President’s Cup Playoffs run for the Rail Yard Dawgs is sponsored by Haley Toyota of Roanoke.