Rail Yard Dawgs Fall in OT 3-2 (1-27-24)

By: Joey Raymond

All Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

Roanoke, VA –The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs are back in the Dawg House, hosting the Pensacola Ice Flyers, after winning an overtime thriller against them last night, January 26th. That means that Roanoke has scraped together and won 14 of their last 17 games and is on a tear right now. This is despite being outscored by a combined margin of 60-52 during the first and second periods this season, the Dawgs have a ridiculous plus-30 goal differential (58-28) after the second intermission. For Pensacola, they’ve got a new coach this season, and a ton of roster turnover. However, that’s not stopping them from having a fairly respectable season. The Ice Flyers are sitting in sixth place, which would get them into the playoffs if the season ended today. They’re 14-16-1 on the year and are trying to come together to turn things around in the second half of the season.

First Period Recap:

​The Dawgs get to feel a little looney tonight, as it’s looney toons tonight. The puck drops and we get started on Saturday night in the Dawg House. The building is alive tonight, the energy is palpable. It only takes the Dawgs 5 minutes and 30 seconds to give them something to scream about. Brandon Picard would be credited with the goal, as it finds itself in the net off of his skate. That goal would give Roanoke a 1-0 lead. We’d get our first penalty of the game with roughly 2 minutes and 30 seconds left in the period. Roanoke would need to sit in the penalty box thanks to a holding call, giving Pensacola a power play opportunity. The Dawgs would kill the penalty with almost no issue. The rest of the time in the period would tick tick away, and Roanoke would find themselves with a 1-0 lead to finish the period.

Second Period Recap:

​Pensacola would come out hot and heavy early in the second period, putting shot after shot on the net but with no success. Roanoke would commit the first penalty of the period, and the second of the game roughly 4 minutes in. It would be a controversial interference penalty that would give the Ice Flyers their second power play of the game. Pensacola wouldn’t be denied in this power play, scoring about halfway in, thanks to Houston Wilson. That would tie the game up at 1-1, much to the disgust of the Berglund Center. With 9 minutes left to play, we’d see a massive hit at center ice, which would lead to the dropping of gloves and a fight. As a result, the Dawgs would get their first power play of the night, as the Ice Flyers would sit in the penalty box. No goals would come from the power play, marking a successful penalty kill for the Ice Flyers. 2 minutes and 30 seconds left in the period, Pensacola would find the back of the net. Joseph Widmar would fire a puck past Austin Roudebush to give the Ice Flyers a 1-2 lead. The clock would find itself at all zeros not too long after, and the Dawg house is unhappy, to say the least.

Third Period Recap:

​Under a shower of cheers, the Dawgs come out to start the third period, a period that has been very kind to them this season. Two minutes in, the Ice Flyers get called for tripping, putting the Dawgs on the power play once again. The Dawgs would take full advantage of the opportunity, tying the game up at 2-2. After the goal the Dawg house would come alive again, really trying to rally behind their Dawgs. Much to the dismay of those fans though, the Dawgs would need to sit in the penalty box again, not but a couple minutes after the goal. Roanoke would kill the penalty with no issues once again, and we’d play on. Roanoke and Pensacola would get called for offsetting penalties with roughly 3 minutes left to play. That would mean 4 on 4 hockey until we have about a minute left. With neither side scoring on the 4 on 4, the last minute of full-strength hockey would be important. The last minute of play would go by with no side budging, and we’d have to head into overtime tied up at 2-2.

Overtime Recap:

​Overtime as per usual would consist of 3 on 3 hockey for 5 minutes. The Dawg house would be rocking to start the overtime period, trying to will Roanoke into a win. Pensacola grabs control of the puck early and plays extremely conservatively until Roanoke gets it back on a turnover. A sea of ‘let’s go Dawgs” chants floods the arena. After a massive hit causes a Roanoke player to leave the ice bloodied, those chants would turn into “ref you suck” chants. With no penalty call on what was an interference call, it’s hard to blame them. The hit was directly to the head and was dangerous enough that the officials stopped play immediately, but did not call a penalty. The Ice Flyers would score not too long after, causing the Berglund Center to lose their minds. It’s a tough loss for the Dawgs, as they fall to the Ice Flyers 2-3.

What’s Next?

​After the hard-fought game on both sides, both of these squads will regroup and retool and wait until at least Thursday to go at it again. A game like this does make one wonder if the Dawgs are riding Austin Roudebush a little too hard. It’ll be interesting to see if head coach Dan Bremner decides to give him a game off at some point