The Rail Yard Dawgs completed the weekend sweep of Vermilion County on Saturday night, beating the Bobcats 3-1 at Berglund Center.
In a game that saw the Dawgs and Bobcats combine for 99 penalty minutes, Roanoke prevailed behind goals from Josh Nenadal, CJ Stubbs, and Mac Jansen. Bryce Martin also notched two assists for the Dawgs.
Nenadal started things off for the Dawgs as Roanoke scored another early goal. Nenadal banged home a power play goal at the 2:44 mark of the first period off assists by Martin and Richie McCartney. With less than seven minutes left in the period, Dom Horvath tied things up for the Bobcats with a smash that rattled around the net after a feed from Joey Strada. At the first intermission, the game was knotted up at 1-1.
The second period is where things got a bit wacky. After Roanoke failed to score on two power play chances, Chris Hunt and Justin Portillo went after each other in front of the Vermilion County goal following a save by Bobcats’ goaltender Brian Wilson. Portillo kept fighting Hunt on the ice, even as both linesmen tried to wrestle in between the two and break it up. Once Portillo finally was escorted away, he kept jawing and tried to go back at Hunt again, at which point Roanoke captain Travis Armstrong entered the fray. Armstrong pummeled Portillo in a second battle within moments. All told, Portillo received two five-minute fighting majors, a 10-minute game misconduct for fighting (aggressor) and another 10-minute game misconduct for fighting (secondary altercation). Armstrong was charged with one five-minute major for fighting, and a 10-minute game misconduct for fighting (secondary altercation).
After the dust settled on the fight, the Dawgs were the ones who received the boost from the multiple scraps. In four-on-four action, Roanoke scored two goals within 35 seconds of each other – Stubbs finished off a breakout pass from Brady Heppner to give Roanoke the lead before Jansen followed it up with a snipe from the left wing to make the score 3-1. Martin and Stubbs were credited with assists on the goal by Jansen. Another fight broke out before the second period ended, with Chris Vella and Eric Masters going toe-to-toe. Roanoke led 3-1 at the final intermission.
The third period gave way to tired legs for both teams, as Roanoke registered just eight shots on goal – its lowest total in any period this weekend. With 5:29 remaining, Nick Ford and Ben Boukal dropped the gloves and both received five-minute fighting majors, while Ford also received a 10-minute game misconduct for slew-footing. That put Roanoke on the penalty kill for a five-minute major for most of the remaining time in the game, but the Dawgs held on to win by two.
Austyn Roudebush saved 18-of-19 shots that he faced for Roanoke, while Vermilion County’s Brian Wilson kept out 36-of-39 shot attempts by the Dawgs.
Roanoke hits the road next weekend to take on the Evansville Thunderbolts on both Friday and Saturday night. Season tickets, Wisler Plumbing and Air Family Four Packs, group tickets, and single game tickets are on sale now for future home games, and you can listen to the game on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network via Mixlr or watch it on HockeyTV.