ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (30-18-5) battled all night, but couldn’t quite catch up to the Peoria Rivermen (36-14-4) in a 6-4 loss at Berglund Center on Saturday. Nick DeVito, Gehrett Sargis, Nick Ford, and Dom Marcinkevics scored goals for Roanoke.

The game began at breakneck speed, as Peoria took only 77 seconds to score the opening goal thanks to a finish by Austin Wisely. A loose puck in the Peoria crease saw DeVito fly in and tie the score 1-1 at 3:41, sacrificing his body for the goal. The Rivermen led again on a centering pass that was squared home by Mike Gelatt at 9:59, but Roanoke went on its first power play moments later. A rebound score by Sargis showed his veteran poise at 11:27, and the game was tied at 2-2. That tally held into the first intermission.

Roanoke started the period strong after the break, and even appeared to take the lead on a CJ Stubbs goal. However, an accidental ‘quick whistle’ wiped the goal off of the board, and it was Peoria that took the lead again just a few minutes later. Vadim Vasjonkin made it 3-2 for the Rivermen at 8:09, but once again the Dawgs continued to scrap. A power play missile from the right wing circle by Ford at 13:36 made it a 3-3 game, but shortly after that Roanoke was whistled for a double minor for high-sticking. A power play goal on a rebound thanks to Joe Widmar reinstated the lead for the Rivermen, and they took the 4-3 advantage into the final period.

The Dawgs were on the power play for half of the first 12 minutes of the third period, but couldn’t continue their man-advantage success in the final frame. Peoria’s own power play goal by Alec Hagaman at 13:39 gave the visitors their largest lead of the game of the night at 5-3. Just 26 seconds later, Marcinkevics forced a turnover and made it a one-goal game again to give Roanoke a chance. The Dawgs emptied their net for most of the final 90 seconds of the game, but a Jordan Ernst empty-netter capped off the weekend split as Peoria will remain in first place of the SPHL standings.

Roanoke’s Austyn Roudebush saved 21-of-26 shots faced, while Peoria’s Jack Berry saved 25-of-29 shots in the game. Both teams went 2-for-4 on the power play.

Roanoke will stay home Thursday night, April 6 at 7:05 p.m. EST against the Macon Mayhem at Berglund Center. Playoff packages and single-game tickets are available now by calling the Rail Yard Dawgs office, visiting the ‘Tickets’ page on our website, or by visiting the Berglund Center box office.

Photo Credit: Brian Collett // BC Captures