EVANSVILLE, IN. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (7-4-2) relied on clutch power play scoring and some great late game defense to hold off the Evansville Thunderbolts (2-10-1) in a 3-2 win on Friday night at Ford Center. Nick Ford had a goal and two assists, CJ Stubbs and Mac Jansen had power play goals, Matt O’Dea added two assists, and Tyler Roy made 23 saves for Roanoke.

Roanoke capitalized early in the action on a power play chance following a tripping call against the Bolts. Ford was able to split the Evansville penalty killers from the right wing circle to the bottom of the left wing circle, and Stubbs blasted the puck into the net for the opening goal at 4:15. That was short-lived, as a miscommunication off of the ensuing faceoff allowed Evansville’s Myles Abbate to take the puck from Roy behind the Roanoke net and knot the score at 1-1 at 4:26. A four-on-four sequence and two successful penalties killed by the Dawgs kept the score tied after 20 minutes.

The second period saw both teams squander early power plays, but the Dawgs peppered the Evansville net with a 19-6 shots on goal advantage in the frame. Yet, it was former Dawgs defenseman Michael Greco who was able to launch a blue-line shot through the traffic off of an Evansville faceoff win to give the Bolts a 2-1 lead at the 9:00 mark. Roanoke answered after a gorgeous display of passing at the offensive blue line between Ford, Brendan Pepe, and Jonathan Bartuccio-Pereira, and a shot from just inside the Evansville blue line by Ford snuck by everybody to tie the score at 13:48. Roanoke would kill off yet another penalty, and the game was still squared at 2-2 heading to the final frame.

The Dawgs were on the receiving end of two power play chances early in the third period, and were able to capitalize for the game-winning goal on the latter of those opportunities. Jansen rifled the puck from the left-wing circle at 10:39 to give Roanoke the lead, as the Dawgs captain proceeded to hold his hand to his ear as he stared down the chippy bunch on the Evansville bench. A late Evansville penalty complicated a comeback attempt, but the Bolts had two great chances to tie the score denied by Roy in the final 90 seconds or so. Roanoke held on for its second win in as many outings.

Evansville’s Cole Ceci stopped 31-of-34 shots faced. The Dawgs went 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Thunderbolts went 0-for-4.

The Rail Yard Dawgs will stay on the road tomorrow night, December 2, to take on the Evansville Thunderbolts. Puck drop is slated for 8:00 P.M. EST at Ford Center, 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: Bryar Turner