HUNTSVILLE, AL. – The Rail Yard Dawgs owned a 42-32 shots on goal advantage, but were defeated 5-3 by the Huntsville Havoc in front of a sellout crowd on Saturday night. Jesse Anderson, Matt O’Dea, and Chris Vella scored for Roanoke.
The Havoc opened the scoring on a power play drive by Nolan Kaiser at the 3:23 mark to take the lead. Brant Sherwood dropped the gloves with Dom Procopio a few minutes later, and the Dawgs fired shot after shot on the Huntsville net as they set a new season-high for shots on goal in a period with 20. The rookie Anderson finally slotted home a shot at the 12:40 mark after intercepting a pass in the Havoc zone for his first professional goal. Huntsville quickly snatched the lead back on a Tory McLean redirect score 26 seconds later, before O’Dea blasted a shot from the blue line that tied the score with 1:35 remaining in the frame. The wild first period finished 2-2.
An early score by Huntsville’s Kyle Clarke reinstated the lead for the Havoc at the 2:37 mark, and then it became a period full of penalties for the Dawgs. Sherwood received a game misconduct and a five-minute major for slashing, and Roanoke killed off another minor penalty in the stanza. A high-sticking double minor penalty by Roanoke goalie Austyn Roudebush in the final 10 seconds put the Dawgs back on the penalty kill to end the second period and would carry over into the final period of play.
The Dawgs were able to kill off the penalty, and earned a power play chance of their own at the 3:38 mark. With 28 seconds remaining on the man advantage, Vella smashed a feed from Brady Heppner into the roof of the net to tie the score with just under 15 minutes left in the third period. A goal by Tyler Piacentini at the 9:14 mark pushed Huntsville ahead 4-3, and Roanoke couldn’t manage a tying goal. An empty net score by Rob Darrar capped off the scoring in the final minute, and clinched the win for Huntsville.
Austyn Roudebush made 27 saves on 31 shots faced for the Dawgs, while Huntsville’s Zane Steeves saved 39 of 42 shots that he faced.
The Dawgs will be back home for a three-game homestand next week, playing Fayetteville on Thursday and Friday night before hosting Knoxville on Saturday. All three games are scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. EST at Berglund Center. Wisler Plumbing and Air Family Four Packs, group tickets, and single game tickets for home games are on sale now, and you can listen to the game on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network via Mixlr or watch it on HockeyTV.
Photo Credit: Mark Sawyer