For Immediate Release:

January 27, 2017



Ryan de Melo makes 45 saves in the loss

COLUMBUS, GA – Ryan de Melo made 45 saves on 48 shots, Mitchell Mueller scored his first SPHL goal but the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs were defeated by the Columbus Cottonmouths, 4-2, Friday night at the Columbus Civic Center.

Columbus tested de Melo early and often in the first, as the Roanoke goaltender stopped all 19 shots he faced in the opening frame. Neither team cracked the scoreboard so the Rail Yard Dawgs and Cottonmouths hit the first intermission still knotted at zero.

Mitchell Mueller started the scoring in the second period when he took the puck at the point just inside the blue line. The defenseman carried it toward the high slot and ripped a wrist shot past Spencer Bacon to give Roanoke a 1-0 lead.

Columbus finally solved de Melo and tied the game with just over two minutes to play in the second. Craig Simchuk took a shot from a sharp angle that de Melo blocked but Jonathan Turk was waiting on the doorstep and banged home the rebound, tying the game at one.

The Cottonmouths snagged the lead in the first minute of the third. They controlled the puck off the opening draw and set up their attack. Petr Senkerik fired a cross-ice pass to Keegan Bruce on the back-side post and he one-timed it past de Melo to put Columbus on top, 2-1.

Columbus would add to that lead just shy of the halfway point in the third. Ben O’Quinn feathered a pass to Senkerik on the left wing and he fired a shot top shelf over de Melo’s blocker, extending the Cottonmouths lead to 3-1.

Roanoke did not wait long to answer however as one minute later, Michael Turner took the puck just over the red line and dumped it toward the Columbus net. The puck bounced and somehow found its way past Bacon to bring the Dawgs within one.

The Rail Yard Dawgs would be unable to complete the comeback though as they pulled de Melo for the extra attacker in the final two minutes. Columbus quickly cashed in with an empty-netter from Andy Bathgate, sealing the 4-2 victory.

Roanoke’s loss was its third in a row and it fell to 9-16-5 while Columbus improved to 8-17-2. The Dawgs and Cottonmouths will play the second of a back-to-back on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM at the Columbus Civic Center.

2017-18 Rail Yard Dawgs season tickets are on sale now! Seats can be reserved by visiting the Rail Yard Dawgs office inside of the Berglund Center or over the phone at 540-344-3294.