HUNTSVILLE, AL. – The Rail Yard Dawgs earned a weekend split on Saturday night, fending off the first-place Huntsville Havoc 5-3 at Propst Arena.
CJ Stubbs scored twice for Roanoke, while Vojtěch Žemlička, Billy Vizzo, and Mac Jansen also tallied goals for the Dawgs.
The first period was dominated by the visiting Dawgs, as Žemlička scored just 15 seconds after Chris Vella and Robbie Fisher dropped the gloves to give Roanoke an early lead at the 2:49 mark. Stubbs scored his first goal at 15:10 on a one-time blast thanks to a Jeff Jones faceoff win to double the advantage. Vizzo fired home a loose puck just 43 seconds later to give Roanoke an impressive three goal lead in the opening period. Jones assisted on all three of the goals during the first 20 minutes.
Huntsville roared back in the second period, scoring three goals in just three minutes and 18 seconds to level the score. Sy Nutkevich got the Havoc on the board at the 3:24 mark, and a power play score by Rob Darrar just seven seconds into Huntsville’s first power play made it 3-2. Nutkevich notched his second goal at 6:42 to tie the game at 3-3. That score held until Brant Sherwood found Jansen on a two-on-one breakaway to reinstate the Roanoke advantage with 2:59 remaining in the period, and the Dawgs took a 4-3 lead into the second intermission.
Roanoke controlled the third period of play, allowing just four shots to the trailing Havoc in the final period. Vella held his own in his second fight of the night, this time with Tory McLean, at the 9:39 mark, but the period was otherwise dominated by the Dawgs as they tried to hold onto their lead. Stubbs scored on an empty net with 1:03 left to play to seal the victory for Roanoke.
Austyn Roudebush made 26 saves on 29 shots faced for the Dawgs, while Zane Steeves was credited with 30 saves on 34 shots for Huntsville.
The Dawgs will return to Berglund Center for a home game on Thursday against the Macon Mayhem. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST. 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