ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Dan Bremner admits he wasn’t worried about losing his job during the rollercoaster of a season the Rail Yard Dawgs experienced in 2021-22.

“I don’t think that I ever really think in that moment about the job,” Bremner said. “I’m thinking about the record, the guys, and that next win. So I never really looked ahead like that I was worried about the next night and what transactions we could make or what adjustments we could make looking at video from the last game.”

But the Roanoke head coach was at one point on the hot seat after the Dawgs lost 17 of 19 games during the second half of last season.

“I tend to be a pretty blunt person and we were not doing well for awhile,” Rail Yard Dawgs general manager Mickey Gray told WFXR News during an interview in July. “In our organization, we were all accountable and we have to take ownership of what’s ever going on. I certainly gave him my feedback on what I thought and at the end of the day, it is up to him. He takes control of that hockey side.”

Roanoke ended up turning things around and going on a historic run to the President’s Cup finals, where it lost to Peoria in four games.

Bremner enters the new season, which begins Friday, with a sense of optimism and job security after the team’s late season success.

“As long as I continue work and learn from those tough moments you try to not make the same mistakes again,” Bremner said. “So I’m looking forward to building off of what we learned over the last year and excited moving into this year.”

The Dawgs return with plenty of experience and familiar faces, including Mac Jansen, who recorded the franchise’s first 60-point season (29 goals, 31 assists) last year. But the team is also looking to fill the shoes of several departed veterans, including Travis Armstrong, who retired after seven seasons in the SPHL.

“You know a guy like Travis Armstrong is irreplaceable. He is the original Rail Yard Dawg. He’ll be missed greatly on and off the ice,” Jansen said. “But that just makes for other guys coming in you know to step up. Like I said, you can’t fill a pair of shoes like that he’s a one of a kind player. But we have a core group of guys coming back. We have a great base from what we had in that final series and those guys are hungry. We know that loss and what we went through was a lot and you think about it all summer. So that’s our feel for this year is that we have that same mentality to get back to where we were.”

The Rail Yard Dawgs open the 2022-23 schedule at home with a match-up against Fayetteville on Friday night at the Berglund Center.