The Rail Yard Dawgs responded to Friday night’s loss with a vengeance on Saturday night, controlling the Peoria Rivermen in a 3-1 victory at Berglund Center.
Mac Jansen opened the scoring for Roanoke, before Matt O’Dea netted two scores for the Dawgs within 65 seconds of each other in the first period. Henry Dill saved 30 of the 31 shots that he faced in a strong display by the Dawgs.
The first period was a sign that Roanoke was making a complete 180 from Friday’s 5-1 loss. Travis Armstrong and Cody Dion dropped the gloves at the 6:36 mark, only to be joined by Josh Nenadal and Alec Hagaman throwing fists at each other. Just 37 seconds after the pair of fights, Jansen took a feed from Jeff Jones deep into the Peoria zone and potted the puck for the opening goal. That score held until the 17:18 mark, when a Chris Vella blast during a delayed penalty six-on-five chance was deflected in by Matt O’Dea for Roanoke’s second goal. Just 65 seconds later, O’Dea went coast-to-coast on his own and beat Peoria’s Eric Levine for his second goal to give Roanoke a 3-0 lead that held entering the first intermission.
The second period saw Roanoke on the penalty kill for seven minutes, with a five-minute major penalty stemming from a game misconduct for five-foot-ten Chris Vella after he knocked the six-foot-four Dion down to the ice with a single, swift right-handed punch. Mitch McPherson got Peoria on the board for their lone goal on a deflection goal at 8:45 in the period. The Dawgs killed off the remaining penalty time in the period, and led 3-1 entering the final period.
The third period was the Dill show, as the Roanoke goalie made plenty of saves to maintain the advantage for the Dawgs. The horn sounded for a 3-1 Dawgs win, their sixth win at home in their last seven games at Berglund Center, and a weekend split for Roanoke against Peoria. Roanoke went 0-for-1 on the power play, while Peoria went 1-for-3. Levine made 19 saves on the 22 shots he faced from the Dawgs.
The Dawgs have three games in three days against the Fayetteville Marksmen next weekend. Puck drop for Friday’s away game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Crown Coliseum, Saturday’s game will be back in Roanoke at 7:05 p.m., and Sunday afternoon will also be at Berglund Center at 3:05 p.m. Wisler Plumbing and Air Family Four Packs, group tickets, and single game tickets for home games are on sale now, and you can listen to the games on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network via Mixlr or watch it on HockeyTV.