KNOXVILLE, TN. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (11-6-3) needed all 60 minutes in a wild game on Tuesday night, but held off the Knoxville Ice Bears (8-12-0) in a 4-3 win at Knoxville Civic Coliseum. Billy Roche, John MacDonald, Nick Ford, and Steven Leonard scored for the Dawgs, with Roche, Brenden Stanko, and Alex DiCarlo all registering two points in the victory.

It was a back and forth affair in the first period, with a pair of Knoxville scores sandwiching the lone early goal by Roanoke. A Dawgs turnover fell to Knoxville’s Kirill Nizhnikov at 8:13, who lasered it into the net for the opening score. Roanoke answered on a great cross ice pass by DiCarlo over to Roche, who snapped the puck into the net at 12:50 to tie the game. A great save by Roanoke’s Austyn Roudebush set up a defensive zone faceoff at 17:00, and Brady Fleurent ripped it into the net to reinstate Knoxville’s lead at 2-1. Roanoke trailed at the intermission.

The second period saw the Dawgs pick up the tempo, outshooting the Ice Bears 15-5 in the frame. MacDonald took a pass from Roche and slotted it through all of the traffic from above the left wing circle to tie the game at 2-2 at the 6:30 mark. The Dawgs got two power plays later in the period, but couldn’t capitalize. The game was still tied after 40 minutes.

Roanoke took its first lead of the night at 5:14, when DiCarlo slipped the puck from the right goal line to the front of the net for an easy smash for Ford to make it 3-2. Knoxville answered at 9:59, as Davis Kirkendall rolled a puck from the right-wing circle through the five-hole of Roudebush to tie the score. The game-winning tally came at 13:24, when a shot by Roanoke’s Jonathan Bartuccio-Pereira was knocked down for a rebound goal for Leonard, a former Ice Bear. An insane save by defenseman Brendan Pepe in the final seconds kept the Ice Bears out of the Roanoke net, and the Dawgs held on for their sixth win in their last nine games.

Roudebush made 24 saves on 27 shots faced for Roanoke, while Knoxville’s Cody Karpinski stopped 40-of-44 shots faced. Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play.

The Rail Yard Dawgs will return home on Friday night, December 29, to take on the Huntsville Havoc. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 P.M. EST at Berglund 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: Katie Lovell // Legacy Maker Sports Network