EVANSVILLE, IN. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (7-5-2) couldn’t capitalize on their offensive chances in a 4-2 loss to the Evansville Thunderbolts (3-10-1) on Saturday night at Ford Center. Jacob Kelly scored both goals for Roanoke.
It was an up-and-down track meet in the first period, with the Dawgs registering 16 shots on net to Evansville’s 14. Both teams saw one power play chance each expire without a goal, but Evansville jumped on the board first. A tipped pass landed in behind the Roanoke net, and Myles Abbate centered it back to the low slot to create a chaotic bouncing puck that was slammed in by Mark Zhukov at 7:22. That marked the only score of the opening 20 minutes, as the Dawgs trailed at the first intermission.`
The second period saw the Dawgs tie the score in the early minutes, as a rebound goal by Kelly off of the initial shot by Billy Roche made it 1-1 at 5:57. Roanoke received four power play chances in the middle frame alone, but it was Evansville that struck the next two times. Nearly identical goals off of offensive zone faceoff wins by Matthew Hobbs were knocked to the center point by Tommy Stang to Chays Ruddy, and Ruddy scored on both blue-line blasts at 11:33 and 16:58. A massive stop by Tyler Roy on a penalty shot by Scott Kirton at 19:15 kept the Dawgs within two entering the final period.
Roanoke nullified its own power play chance that carried over from the second period with an early penalty in the final frame, and once both teams were back to full strength, Kirton extended Evansville’s lead to 4-1 at the 2:59 mark. The Dawgs pulled one back when Kelly notched another rebound goal after Alex DiCarlo’s shot was initially saved, making the score 4-2 at 14:20. Two more late power plays stacked on top of one another gave the Dawgs a 6-on-3 when they pulled Roy from the net for the final 82 seconds, but Evansville made enough defensive stops to earn a weekend split with Roanoke.
Roy made 34 saves on 38 shots for Roanoke, while Evansville’s Cole Ceci stopped 39-of-41 shots faced. The Dawgs went 0-for-7 on the power play, while the Thunderbolts went 0-for-4.
The Rail Yard Dawgs will stay on the road next Friday night, December 8, to take on the Fayetteville Marksmen. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 P.M. EST at Crown Coliseum, and you can watch the game on Flo or listen for free on Mixlr. Season tickets, 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: Paula Greenway