PELHAM, AL. – The Rail Yard Dawgs couldn’t hang on to their lead in the third period, surrendering two goals in the final 6:29 of regulation in a 4-3 loss to the Birmingham Bulls on Friday night.

Travis Armstrong, Matt O’Dea, and Brady Heppner scored for Roanoke, with Mike Davis netting the game-winning goal for Birmingham.

The first period saw Roanoke take the lead at the 5:31 mark, as Armstrong smashed a rebound into the net. Carson Rose tied the game just one minute and 37 seconds later for the Bulls. A scrap between Davis and Charlie Pelnik was the only other major development, as the teams ended the first period tied 1-1.

A tilt between Roanoke’s Chris Vella and Birmingham’s Matthew Hobbs kicked things off in the second period just 38 seconds into the action. Three minutes later, Rose scored again to give the Bulls their first lead of the night. O’Dea sniped a shot into the Birmingham net at 15:39 to tie the score for the Dawgs at 2-2, and Heppner gave Roanoke the lead back on a rebound goal at 18:03 in the period just 12 seconds after he came out of the box for a cross-checking penalty. At the second intermission, Roanoke held a one goal advantage.

The third period featured end-to-end action, as Birmingham searched for a tying score and Roanoke aimed to put the game away. Jake Pappalardo scored in his debut for the Bulls with 6:29 remaining to knot the score at 3-3. A two-on-two chance allowed Davis to deke across the slot, and he buried the game-winner with 1:44 left to play. Roanoke emptied the net, but couldn’t score before the horn sounded. Both teams lingered on the ice after the horn sounded after Brant Sherwood was hit into the boards well after time had expired, but that didn’t change the result of the 4-3 victory for the Bulls.

Henry Dill made 30 saves on 34 shots faced for the Dawgs, while Birmingham’s Hayden Stewart saved 32 of 35 shots that he faced. Roanoke did not receive a power play chance, but killed off both of Birmingham’s power play opportunities on the night.

The Dawgs will be on the road tomorrow night at Propst Arena to face the Huntsville Havoc. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EST. Wisler Plumbing and Air Family Four Packs, group tickets, and single game tickets for home games are on sale now, and you can listen to the game on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network via Mixlr or watch it on HockeyTV.

Photo Credit: Mark Sawyer