ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs showed heart throughout Saturday night’s contest, but fell 7-4 to the Knoxville Ice Bears in the final home game of the regular season at Berglund Center. Travis Armstrong had a Gordie Howe hat trick, while Mac Jansen, Travis Broughman, and Nick Ford added goals for the Dawgs.
Roanoke came out flat in the first period, as Knoxville outshot the Dawgs 13-4 in the opening 20 minutes. Jared Nash made it 1-0 at the 4:54 mark, and Andrew Bellant doubled Knoxville’s lead at 16:55. Armstrong fought Knoxville’s Carter Cowlthorp, and a cut from an Armstrong punch forced Cowlthorp to change jerseys from number 18 to number 26. At the end of the first period, the Dawgs trailed by two.
The second period was split in half – with Knoxville opening up its lead to 3-0 on a Steven Leonard goal at 5:36. That ended up causing multiple scrums, including a fight that caused Steven’s twin brother, Sean, to get a game misconduct for fighting for the Rail Yard Dawgs after he fought Knoxville’s Taylor Stefishen. Another fight between Steven and Roanoke’s Bryce Martin at 11:07 energized the team, and Jansen opened the scoring on a rebound goal at 11:47. Armstrong found Broughman at 17:15, and suddenly, the deficit was just 3-2 entering the third period.
The final frame started with a power play goal by the Ice bears via Jason Price at 1:19. Tanner Salsberry followed with a score at 5:03, and then McVeigh made it for the Ice Bears at 8:36. Roanoke kept battling, as Armstrong and Ford scored within two minutes of each other, and the Dawgs trailed 6-4 with 5:10 left to play. An empty net score by Stepan Timofeyev rounded out a wild night in Roanoke that saw a five-game winning streak come to an end for the Dawgs.
Former Ice Bear Sammy Bernard saved 17-of-23 shots for Roanoke, while Knoxville’s Jimmy Poreda stopped 26-of-30 in net for Knoxville. The Ice Bears went 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Dawgs went 0-for-2 on their man advantages.
The Rail Yard Dawgs are on the road for their final regular season series against the Fayetteville Marksmen next weekend. Roanoke will host a Bud Light Watch Party for Friday’s game at Club 611 at the Berglund Center, starting at 6 p.m. EST. Wisler Plumbing and Air Family Four Packs, group tickets, 2022-2023 season tickets, and single game tickets for home games are on sale now, and you can listen to the games on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network via Mixlr or watch it on HockeyTV.