ROANOKE, VA. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (31-15-8) just plain outworked the Fayetteville Marksmen (29-19-6) on Saturday night, taking a 4-3 victory in a weekend series sweep at Berglund Center. Matteo DiGiulio had two goals, Dom Marcinkevics and Matt O’Dea each added goals, and Tommy Munichiello had three assists for Roanoke. The Dawgs secured a third-place finish in the regular season with the win, the best standings finish in franchise history.

The Dawgs roared out of the gates from the get-go, as immense pressure by DiGiulio, Munichiello, and Mac Jansen turned a forecheck into an easy tap-in for DiGiulio just 41 seconds in. Marcinkevics doubled the advantage at 5:01, when he took a pass from Aidan Girduckis into the Fayetteville zone and unleashed a long-range shot to make it 2-0 for Roanoke. The Dawgs recorded the game’s first eight shots on goal in the first eight minutes of action, and held that two-goal lead into the first intermission.

The second period featured another great play by the same line that started the night off for the Dawgs. Munichiello and DiGiulio forced a turnover, DiGiulio elected to create a 2-on-1 chance instead of taking a partial breakaway chance, and his give-and-go with John Macdonald gave him an easy second goal just 40 seconds into the frame to make it 3-0. Fayetteville would get on the board at 5:32 on a goal by Adam Pitters, and a right-wing bullet from Simon Boyko on the power play at 10:55 would make it a 3-2 game. Fayetteville would outshoot Roanoke 13-8 in the period, and it was just a one-goal game after 40 minutes.

Roanoke locked things down defensively down the stretch and started mounting pressure back on the Marksmen. Munichiello and O’Dea won a board battle behind the Fayetteville net, and a low-to-high pass up to Stephen Alvo set up his blue-line shot that was redirected by O’Dea to make it a 4-2 game at 9:11. The Marksmen would empty their net for the extra attacker with about four and a half minutes left, and a wicked deflection off of a Roanoke stick on a centering feed by Boyko would award him a credited goal at 16:13. The Dawgs would see things out to seal another victory, clinching a third-place finish and their first-ever 70-point season.

Austyn Roudebush stopped 34-of-37 shots in net for Roanoke, while Eric Dop saved 24-of-28 shots faced in net for Fayetteville. Roanoke went 0-for-2 on the power play, while Fayetteville went 1-for-3 on their respective power play chances.

The Rail Yard Dawgs will stay home next Friday night, April 5, to take on the Knoxville Ice Bears in the regular season home finale. 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. Playoff packages are on sale now, and can be purchased by contacting the Rail Yard Dawgs office. Other season 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