PENSACOLA, FL. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (17-8-3) couldn’t match the energy from the Pensacola Ice Flyers (14-15-0) during a 6-2 defeat at the Pensacola Bay Center on Saturday night. Brenden Stanko and Matt O’Dea scored the goals, as Roanoke’s impressive six-game winning streak was brought to an end. Pensacola snapped a seven-game losing skid of its own with the result.
The Ice Flyers didn’t waste much time getting on the scoreboard, as Houston Wilson knocked Pensacola into the lead just 43 seconds into the action. It didn’t take long for the Dawgs to respond, as Stanko’s tip goal on a blue-line rip by Stephen Alvo tied the game at 1-1 at the 1:53 mark. Another Wilson goal in transition stuck Pensacola back in front at 5:52, then the Ice Flyers jammed home a rebound to make it 3-1 after Mitch Atkins came flying through the low slot for a loose puck at 12:19. Roanoke trailed by a pair heading to the first intermission.
The second period saw Pensacola tally two quick goals back-to-back after the Dawgs had consecutive penalty kill attempts. The first penalty was killed off by Roanoke, but Pensacola went on its third power play of the game just 20 seconds after the Dawgs got to full strength, and Adam Keyes tucked the puck in at 7:37 to make it 4-1. Just 63 seconds later, a weird carom dropped the puck inside of the right wing circle for Pensacola’s Reggie Millette to fire into the net to make it 5-1. Brody Claeys was pulled from the Roanoke net at this point in favor of Austyn Roudebush. The Dawgs had chances to pull the deficit closer, but still trailed 5-1 after 40 minutes.
Pensacola started with a bang in the third period, pushing the deficit to 6-1 on a Joe Widmar goal just 13 seconds into the period. Roanoke would pull one back, when a great pass by Mac Jansen sprung O’Dea down the left wing before he sniped a shot into the Pensacola net at 8:52 to make it a 6-2 game. That score would hold, as Roanoke allowed more than four goals for the first time this season, while also trailing by more than three goals in a game for the first time all season.
Claeys saved 9-of-14 shots faced before he was relieved by Roudebush, who made 23 saves on 24 shots faced for Roanoke. Stephen Mundinger saved 31-of-33 for Pensacola. Roanoke went without a power play chance for the first time since January 28, 2022, while Pensacola went 1-for-5 on its chances.
The Rail Yard Dawgs will return home on Thursday night, January 18, to take on the Macon Mayhem. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 P.M. EST at Berglund Center, and you can watch the game on Flo or listen for free on Mixlr. Ticket packages, group tickets, and single game tickets are on sale now by contacting the Rail Yard Dawgs office or visiting the Berglund Center box office.
Photo Credit: Michele Hancock