MACON, GA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (19-8-3) fell behind by three goals early on, but roared to life with seven unanswered goals to bury the Macon Mayhem (7-18-5) in a 7-3 win at Macon Coliseum on Friday night. Steven Leonard’s birthday hat trick led the way, while Brandon Picard, Jacob Kelly, Dom Marcinkevics, and Justin Daly added goals for the Dawgs.

Macon dominated the first 10 minutes of action, turning six shots on goal into three scores. Michael McChesney’s rebound tally on the power play opened the scoring at 2:14, then McChesney added his second goal by firing in a beautifully-centered pass by Tanner Nagel just 20 seconds later. Macon’s Alex Laplante got loose in transition next, and his rip from the left wing circle made it a 3-0 game at 9:06. That prompted the Dawgs to relieve goaltender Brody Claeys in favor of Austyn Roudebush. Roanoke outshot Macon 14-9 in the period, but trailed by three at the first break.

The second period saw a much more focused effort by the Dawgs. Picard’s first pro goal came from the left wing side on a turnover forced by defenseman Stephen Alvo, as Alvo’s poke pass found Picard before he put Roanoke on the board at 7:09. Just 19 seconds later, another great defensive play by Alvo sprung Leonard down the right wing, and Leonard’s first goal of the night brought the deficit to just one goal. A great tilt between Roanoke’s Owen McDade and Macon’s Nagel did force McDade out of the action later in the second period, but the Dawgs were knocking on the door with their 3-2 deficit heading to the third period.

Roanoke kept rolling in the final frame, starting with another Leonard goal that tied the score at 1:39. Kelly’s rebound goal at 3:03 gave the Dawgs their first lead of the night, but the Mayhem settled back into the game for the next few minutes. Roudebush and the Roanoke defense kept Macon at bay, and Leonard’s power play goal on a rebound at 14:11 doubled the advantage to two goals. Macon would empty its net, only for Marcinkevics to skip the puck into the cage from the neutral zone at 18:23 to make it 6-3. A late exclamation point by Daly with less than a minute left came on a backhanded finish to the top left corner of the net, as the Dawgs finished off their rally in style.

Roudebush saved all 16 shots faced for Roanoke in relief of Claeys, who made three saves on six shots faced. Sean Kuhn saved 33-of-39 shots faced for Macon. Roanoke went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Macon went 1-for-3 on its chances. 

The Rail Yard Dawgs will stay on the road tomorrow night, January 20, to take on the Huntsville Havoc. Puck drop is slated for 8:00 P.M. EST at the Von Braun Center, and you can watch the game on Flo or listen for free on Mixlr. Ticket packages, 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: John Wacher