PELHAM, AL. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (5-2) struggled offensively on Friday night, falling 2-0 to the Birmingham Bulls (5-3) at Pelham Civic Complex. Birmingham’s Austin Lotz had a 33-save shutout in the win, while Roanoke’s Austyn Roudebush saved 26-of-28 shots that he faced.
The first period was back and forth, as both teams had great chances to score but were denied by solid goaltending. Matt Wiesner finally opened the scoring for Birmingham on a 2-on-2 rush for the Bulls, making it 1-0 at 8:47. At 13:34, a hard hit by Roanoke’s Jason Lavallée was called a five-minute major and a game misconduct for charging, putting the Dawgs down a man and giving them their third major penalty kill of the series to date. Roanoke survived the five minutes down a man, and even created a few chances late in the period that nearly tied the score. The Bulls still led 1-0 at the intermission.
Both teams spent plenty of time on the power play in the middle stanza, with the Dawgs gaining three power play chances and the Bulls garnering two of their own. Once again, Roudebush and Lotz were outstanding, keeping the score at 1-0 after another 20 minutes of action. Through the first two periods, each team had 20 shots on goal, but the Dawgs still trailed by one entering the third period.
The third period saw Roanoke outshoot Birmingham 13-8, but the Bulls capitalized early in the period when a hard slapshot by Artur Terchiyev from the left wing doubled Birmingham’s advantage at 2:08. The Dawgs had plenty of chances in the third period as they had all game, but weren’t able to capitalize as they were shut out for only the fourth time in 62 total games this season. The best-of-five series is tied at 1-1 after the first two games. Both teams came up empty on the power play, as the Dawgs had four chances and the Bulls had three.
Roanoke will host Game Three and also Game Four next week. Game Three will take place on Monday, May 1 at 7:05 P.M. EST, and Game Four will be on Tuesday, May 2 at the same time at Berglund Center. Single-game tickets and parking passes for Games 3 and 4 of the Final are on sale now both online and at the Berglund Center box office. Game Five, if necessary, will be on Thursday, May 4 at 8:00 P.M. EST at Pelham Civic Complex.
If you purchased a Playoff Package, please use Game D for Game Three and Game E for Game Four. Season long parking passes and Club 611 passes will be accepted at both of these games. Roanoke’s 2023 President’s Cup Playoffs run is sponsored by Haley Toyota of Roanoke.
Photo Credit: Brian Collett // BC Captures