ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (2-0) cruised past the Evansville Thunderbolts (0-2) with a 4-0 win at Berglund Center on Saturday night, sweeping the first round series to advance to the President’s Cup Semifinals. Austyn Roudebush had a 32-save shutout for Roanoke, while Gehrett Sargis, Matt O’Dea, Billy Vizzo, Alex DiCarlo all scored for the Dawgs.
The first period saw fast-paced action both ways, and Evansville actually had eight of the game’s first 12 shots. The Dawgs finally settled in, and once again it was Sargis who took the game into his own hands. The 34-year old veteran turned a turnover by the Bolts into a clean breakaway finish to open the scoring at 17:39. That lead held up, as Roanoke led 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Roanoke never let up at that point, and doubled the advantage early in the second period. O’Dea snapped a long-range snipe on the power play to make it 2-0 at 3:48 in the frame. The Dawgs kept the pressure on, as Evansville scrambled to clear more chances away from its own crease. Vizzo finished off a rebound on a Jarrad Vroman chance at 15:57 to make it 3-0, and at that point, the Dawgs entered cruise control. The three-goal cushion remained intact entering the second intermission.
The third period saw Evansville take the first eight shots of the frame, but Roudebush and Roanoke’s defense held strong. A 2-on-1 rush for Mac Jansen and Sargis missed the first time, but Sargis found DiCarlo on the second chance at 10:02 and the rookie forward rippled the net to give the Dawgs a four-goal lead. Things got chippy in the final three minutes, with 28 combined penalty minutes whistled (24 of which were against the Thunderbolts). The Dawgs held on to complete the two-game sweep, and they’ll advance to the semifinals next week.
Evansville’s Lucas Fitzpatrick saved 28-of-32 shots in the game after relieving an injured Zane Steeves in the first period, who stopped all seven shots he saw. The Dawgs went 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Bolts were scoreless on their two power play chances.
Roanoke will have to await the other remaining matchups around the league to conclude before finding out who its semifinals opponent would be. Single-game playoff tickets are on sale now online or at the Berglund Center box office. Roanoke’s 2023 President’s Cup Playoffs run is sponsored by Haley Toyota of Roanoke.
Photo Credit: Brian Collett // BC Captures