ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (15-7-3) trailed entering the third period once again, but rallied with four goals in the final 20 minutes to beat the Knoxville Ice Bears (8-15-2) in a 4-2 win at Berglund Center on Saturday night. Matt O’Dea tallied three points (1 G, 2 A), Owen McDade, Dom Marcinkevics, and Xavier Filion added goals, and Nick Ford recorded two assists as Roanoke won for the eighth time in its last 10 games.
It was all Roanoke in the first six minutes of the game, as the Ice Bears barely left their own zone in the first six minutes of the game. Yet, the first time Knoxville connected more than one pass in the Roanoke zone, the Ice Bears scored after several rebound chances finally ended with a goal by Davis Kirkendall at 6:42. The shock goal seemed to tilt the momentum throughout the rest of the period, as the Dawgs couldn’t quite find an opening goal despite still dominating the time of puck possession. Roanoke trailed at the first intermission.
The second period began with a Roanoke power play stemming from a handful of roughing penalties at the end of the first period, and once again the Dawgs peppered the Knoxville net with chances. The Ice Bears had one power play chance of their own while the Dawgs had three during the middle frame, but Roanoke still couldn’t find an opening goal, despite outshooting Knoxville 13-8 in the period. It was still 1-0 to the visitors after 40 minutes.
Roanoke once again came out firing in the third period, converting three early power play chances to flip the script of the game. At 1:06, it was McDade that tipped along the shot by Ford to tie the score at 1-1. Just 35 seconds later, Ford snapped a pass from the right point down to the bottom of the left wing circle, and O’Dea redirected the one-time shot into the net for the lead. At 4:36, a strong attacking move down the right wing by Josh Nenadal set up a 2-on-1 odd-man rush, and Nenadal centered the puck to a wide-open Marcinkevics to make it 3-1 for Roanoke. O’Dea and John Macdonald completed some pretty tic-tac-toe passing at 15:29, eventually setting up a low slot rip by Filion to make it 4-1. The Ice Bears did notch a power play goal with one minute left when Rex Moe tipped the shot by Tyler Rollo, but the Dawgs won for the third time in three meetings against Knoxville this season.
Austyn Roudebush made 23 saves on 25 shots faced for Roanoke, while Marco Costantini stopped 36-of-40 shots faced for Knoxville. Roanoke was 3-for-6 on the power play, while Knoxville went 1-for-4.
The Rail Yard Dawgs will hit the road tomorrow evening, January 7, to take on the Knoxville Ice Bears. Puck drop is slated for 5:00 P.M. EST at Knoxville Civic Coliseum, 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: Paula Greenway