ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (9-5-3) battled back and forth on Saturday night, outlasting the Birmingham Bulls (12-4-3) in a 3-2 shootout win at Berglund Center. Brendan Pepe scored the game-winner in the shootout, Nick Ford sprung the stuffed animals on Teddy Bear Toss night, and Owen McDade tallied the game-tying goal for Roanoke.
It took just 7:08 for the Dawgs to open the scoring, as a shot by Billy Roche set up a rebound for Ford, who hammered the puck into the net for the early lead. After the teddy bears were cleaned up from the toss, the Bulls quickly equalized with a pretty transition goal finished off by Scott Donahue at 10:29. Two successful penalties killed by the Bulls kept the score tied at 1-1 at the first intermission.
The second period saw Birmingham grab the upper hand earlier in the frame, then the Dawgs worked themselves back into the flow of the action. The Bulls received their first power play of the game at 9:39, and a Carson Vance shot that was saved kicked out to MacGregor Sinclair for a rebound goal at 10:01 that gave Birmingham its first lead of the night. The Dawgs trailed by one heading to the third period.
An early penalty kill for Roanoke was a big start to the third period, then the Dawgs capitalized on the momentum. Pepe found McDade at the bottom of the left-wing circle, and McDade roofed the puck for the tying goal at 3:07. Both teams had chances to gain the lead down the stretch of regulation, but the game continued into overtime. Birmingham was outshot 35-20 in regulation, but notched the only four shots of the overtime period. The Dawgs held on into the shootout, which saw Birmingham’s Carson Rose and Ford each score in the third round. In the fifth round, it was Pepe who slowed down at the goal mouth and danced back to his forehand for the game-winning score for the Dawgs.
Roanoke’s Austyn Roudebush made 22 saves on 24 shots faced, while Birmingham’s Hayden Stewart stopped 33-of-36 shots faced. The Dawgs went 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Bulls went 1-for-2.
The Rail Yard Dawgs will stay on the road next Friday night, December 22, to take on the Fayetteville Marksmen. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 P.M. EST at Crown Coliseum, and you can watch the game on Flo or listen for free on Mixlr. Season tickets, 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: Tim Lester // Field Pass Hockey