Roanoke Falls In Overtime To Evansville 3-2 (2-17-24)

By: Joey Raymond

All Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

Roanoke, VA —Coming into this matchup after winning big last night with a score of 7-0, the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs and Evansville Thunderbolts are set to face off in the second of two games this weekend. The Dawgs were prolific last night, with 5 different goal scorers, 13 different players recording points, and 31 save shutouts by Tyler Roy. Roanoke has been decimated by players getting called up, but the new guys were a huge reason for the big win last night. Especially newcomer, Savva Smirnov who scored a hat trick in just his sixth game for the Dawgs. After that game, the Dawgs are now only 2 points away from tying for third place. Evansville is sure to be motivated coming into this game, trying not to lose by that large of a margin again. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. A large crowd is on hand for tonight as the Dawgs honor our nation’s active duty and veterans on military night, and are even wearing commemorative sweaters for the occasion.

First Period Recap:

Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

​Seven minutes into the game the Dawgs would give the dawg house something to cheer about. Josh Nenandal would find himself in a two-on-one opportunity and bury it under the Evansville goalkeeper to give Roanoke a 1-0 lead. The rest of the period would be landlocked in just about every category. Both Roanoke and Evansville would be tied at shots on goal with 14 until a minute left in the period when the Dawgs would get two opportunities but come up short. The period would end with absolutely no penalties, with the Dawgs leading 1-0. Roanoke would also lead in shots on goals 16 to 14.

Second Period Recap:

Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

​Evansville would come out swinging in the second period, firing a ton of shots on goal at Tyler Roy. The Thunderbolts would get a power play about four minutes in after a breakaway would force Roanoke to commit a hooking penalty. Thanks to some nifty saves from Tyler Roy, Roanoke would kill the penalty, keeping the score at 1-0. After the penalty kill Evansville would finally get a shot past Tyler Roy, who up until that moment had been a brick wall in the net. Vadim Vasjonkin would tie the game up at 1-1 with the shot. Evansville would keep up the pressure on the Dawgs’ defense, firing shot after shot until Myles Abbate would find pay dirt. He’d fire a shot underneath Tyler Roy to give Evansville their first lead of the night, 1-2. Only a few seconds after the goal, Evansville would find themselves in the penalty box for hooking. Evansville would continue their momentum, killing the penalty with ease. Roanoke would get another power play opportunity, with about 30 seconds left to go in the period thanks to a high sticking penalty from the Thunderbolts. Roanoke wouldn’t be able to make anything of it this period and will have to try again next period. The second period would end with the Thunderbolts leading 1-2.

Third Period / Over Time Recap:

Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

​Roanoke would start the period on the power play, but Evansville would stand tall. They’d kill the penalty with little to no issue to keep the score at 1-2. That wouldn’t hold Roanoke forever though, it would only take a couple minutes after the penalty kill for the Dawgs to strike. Jesse Anderson would find himself alone in front of the net and would fire a rebound shot into the back of the net to tie it up at 2-2. The rest of the period would be quiet, with no penalties and no goals.

This of course would mean overtime hockey in the star city. Overtime would come and go very quickly. It would only take 48 seconds into the period to score. Dmitry Yushkevich would find himself in a two-on-one situation in large part due to a massive defensive blunder from Roanoke. He’d fire a shot underneath Tyler Roy, who was just a tad too slow to block the shot. This would give Evansville a 2-3 win in overtime, sealing them 2 points and handing Roanoke 1 point.

What’s Next?

Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

​Roanoke comes away with 3 out of the possible 4 points on the weekend and will take that momentum into a Monday night matchup against the Macon Mayhem. Macon is the last-place team in the SPHL by quite a fair margin being 5 points behind the Knoxville Ice Bears. If Roanoke wants to continue working their way up the standings they’ll need to keep up the winning way against Macon. As for Evansville, they’re happy to get out of Roanoke with a win. That’ll help keep up the momentum they’re having trying to sneak their way into the playoffs. With only 19 games left to go, winning against teams at the top like Roanoke can help propel you down the stretch. Speaking of Monday games, Evansville will have another tough test against the first-place Birmingham Bulls on Monday. If they can pull the upset, they’ll prove that they could be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.