By Jesse Gilbert
The Rail Yard Dawgs had an eventful Thanksgiving weekend playing three games in three nights including once on Thanksgiving itself. They traveled well this weekend starting off with a turkey day showdown on the road in Fayetteville. The Marksmen continued their unrelenting dominance over the Dawgs defeating Roanoke 6-1. Roanoke’s losing streak extended to nine games following the loss to the Marksmen. The lone goal was scored in the second period by Colton Wolter, his fifth of the year. The special teams struggled Thursday with Roanoke going zero for three on the power play, while Fayetteville capitalized on three of their seven extra man advantage opportunities. The newly acquired goaltender Ian Sylves would come in for the last six minutes of the game, his first time on the ice as a Rail Yard Dawg.
Following the loss the Rail Yard Dawgs travelled to Knoxville, Tennessee for a date with the Ice Bears. The team was firing on all cylinders getting their first regulation win of the season with a final tally of 7-4. Mac Jansen got the scoring started breaking the 0-0 score with a power play goal. Brad Riccardi and Colton Wolter added tallies for the Dawgs, Wolter scoring his team leading sixth goal of the season. Jeff Jones scored twice in Friday night’s tilt, scoring the eventual game winner shorthanded! Newly acquired forward Bobby Watson scored his first goal of the season in his first game for Roanoke. CJ Stubbs buried the empty netter, while net minder Ian Sylves got his first start and first win as a Rail Yard Dawg making 27 saves on 31 shots (87.1%). Notably, Shayne Morrissey was not in the lineup against Knoxville.
The Dawgs headed home to the Star City for their third game in a row, this time against the Birmingham Bulls, who knocked them out of the play-offs in the semi-finals last season. Ian Sylves once again got the start in net making 26 save on 29 shots (89.66%). Roanoke looked good on home ice, maintaining possession of the puck in the offensive zone better than they have most of the season. The game was very close all night long with only one goal (Jacob Barber – Birmingham) being scored in the first two periods of play. The pucks found the back of the net four times in the third, with Matt Fuller extending Birmingham’s lead only one minute and thirty-eight seconds into the period. Roanoke’s Mac Jansen got on the board only a few minutes later cutting the lead in half. Newly acquired Dawg Kyle Gonzalez scored his first SPHL goal tying the game shortly after the halfway mark, but Matt Fuller would score his second of the night which would wind up being the game winner. There was no update on Shayne Morrissey, who was also not in the lineup against the Bulls. Morrissey has not been placed on I.R. by the team.
On Monday the team announced that they have extended Bobby Watson’s contract by three more games and placed defenseman Vojtech Zemlicka on waivers. Zemlicka has appeared in 7 games for the Rail Yard Dawgs this season putting up 3 points (1G, 2A) and a plus/minus of -5. Zemlicka came to Roanoke last season and appeared in 33 games for the Dawgs.
The Dawgs are back in action this Saturday, December 7th at 7:05PM for a rematch with the Knoxville Ice Bears!