KNOXVILLE, TN. – The Rail Yard Dawgs picked up where they left off on Saturday night, eliminating the top-seeded Knoxville Ice Bears with a 3-1 win at Knoxville Civic Coliseum on Easter Sunday. Gehrett Sargis, Mac Jansen, and Nick Ford scored for Roanoke, while Sammy Bernard saved 27 shots in net.
The Dawgs started hot out of the gate, as Sargis took a pass from CJ Stubbs and fired in the game’s opening goal from the right-wing circle at 3:37. Just 80 seconds later, Jansen smashed a rebound in to double the advantage for Roanoke. That prompted Knoxville to pull Jimmy Poreda out of the net for Kristian Stead. The Dawgs hit the post twice and had plenty of chances to add on to their lead, but Knoxville did get one goal back on a Stepan Timofeyev power play score at 11:26. Roanoke led 2-1 entering the second period.
The second period was a battle, as the Dawgs fought to maintain their lead. After grinding their way through the first nine minutes of the period, Sargis found Ford on a breakout pass, and Ford scored at 9:46 to make it 3-1. Roanoke was outshot 11-8 in the frame, but Bernard made several big saves to keep the Dawgs in front by two goals entering the third period.
Roanoke simply tried to outlast Knoxville in the third period, taking only two shots on net but surviving the 11 shots sent by the Ice Bears. Stead left the net with two minutes to play, but the Ice Bears couldn’t score on their 6-on-5 chances, as Roanoke advanced to the President’s Cup semifinals for the second time in franchise history.
Bernard saved 27-of-28 shots for Roanoke, while Knoxville’s Stead stopped 18-of-19 in net in relief of Poreda, who failed to stop both shots that he faced. The Ice Bears went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Dawgs went 0-for-3 on their man advantages.
Roanoke will host the Huntsville Havoc for Game One of the semifinals on Thursday night. Tickets will go on sale Monday morning at 10:00 a.m EST., and you can purchase them online or at Berglund Center box office. You can watch the games on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network on HockeyTV, or listen via Mixlr. The 2022 President’s Cup Playoff run for the Dawgs is sponsored by Haley Toyota.