KNOXVILLE, TN. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (25-15-3) couldn’t get the offense rolling, falling 3-0 to the Knoxville Ice Bears (26-16-3) on Thursday night at Knoxville Civic Coliseum. Goals by Knoxville’s Bailey Conger, Jagger Williamson, and Matt O’Shaughnessy led the way for the hosts.
The Dawgs started strong out of the gate, but an early Knoxville power play kept Roanoke from building on that momentum. Both goaltenders were forced to make one absurd save a piece in an otherwise pedestrian first period that ended scoreless. The Ice Bears had a slim 7-6 shots on goal advantage at the first intermission.
Knoxville drew first blood at 5:38, after two great saves by Roanoke’s Austyn Roudebush. Conger moved to the goal-side of the Roanoke defense, and buried the rebound for the lead. A power play goal by Williamson was actually a centering pass that kicked off of a Dawg and into the back of the Roanoke net at 9:56. The Dawgs trailed by a pair entering the final frame.
Roanoke started on the power play in the third period, then got a two-man advantage just minutes later after Knoxville killed the opening opportunity. A Nick Ford shot dinged the post from distance, and the Dawgs failed to capitalize on the 5-on-3 power play. A transition goal by O’Shaughnessy made it 3-0 for Knoxville at 7:40. Another late power play chance saw Roanoke’s Josh Nenadal redirect a puck off of the Knoxville post again, and the Dawgs were shut out for only the second time this season.
Roudebush stopped 18-of-21 shots faced in net for Roanoke, while Knoxville’s Kristian Stead managed a 22-save shutout. Roanoke went 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Ice Bears were 1-for-4.
Roanoke will travel to Birmingham to face the Bulls on Friday, March 3 at 8:00 p.m. EST at Pelham Civic Complex. Season tickets and single-game tickets are available by calling the Rail Yard Dawgs office, visiting the ‘Tickets’ page on our website, or by visiting the Berglund Center box office.
Photo Credit: Brian Collett // BC Captures