Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs fall in season opener

Local Sports

ROANOKE, Va. — The Rail Yard Dawgs yielded a flurry of third period goals to the Fayetteville Marksmen on Friday night, dropping their opener 4-1 at Berglund Center.

The Dawgs got off to an excellent start and got on the board first, as CJ Stubbs found Matt Beer with a centering pass following a Marksmen turnover to take a 1-0 lead just over 2:30 into the game.

From that point on, Roanoke enjoyed the better part of the game for the first 45 minutes of action. The Dawgs held a nine-shot advantage with 15 minutes remaining in the game, and had two more great chances to score late in the second period and early in the third period to double their advantage.

The second period featured some punches thrown by both sides. After Roanoke’s Brant Sherwood hit Marksmen goalie Jason Pawloski when going for a loose puck in open ice, Sherwood and Fayetteville’s Carter Struthers went at it. Just over five minutes later, Travis Armstrong got caught up with Struthers right in front of the Fayetteville bench, basically trying to fight everyone in sight. That instigated the gloves dropping for Roanoke’s Sean Leonard and Fayetteville’s Bryce Ferrell.

The third period started off with business as usual for the Dawgs, until the Marksmen lit the lamp out of nowhere. Once Fayetteville’s Drake Glover turned a Roanoke turnover into a game-tying goal with 13:53 remaining in the game, the Dawgs’ defense came undone. Glover scored again and Matt McNair tacked on a goal of his own to make it a 3-1 game with 7:42 left to play – three goals in six minutes and 11 seconds. The Marksmen added another goal from McNair on an empty net finish with one minute remaining, capping off four unanswered goals in the final period of the game.

Roanoke went 0-for-3 on the power play, with Fayetteville also failing to capitalize on either of the two power plays that were afforded. Pawloski saved 25 of the 26 shots that he faced for the Marksmen, while Roanoke’s Henry Dill saved 18 of the 22 shots he encountered.

It was Roanoke’s first hockey game in 601 days. The Dawgs will get a chance to rematch the Marksmen next Friday night, October 22, at Berglund Center. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. Season tickets, packages, group tickets, and single game tickets are on sale now.

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