December 4, 2017 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs
DAWGS COMEBACK BID FALLS SHORT IN MISSISSIPPI, 5-4
Roanoke scores twice in final five minutes
SOUTHAVEN, MS - The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs scored twice in the final five minutes of the third to bring themselves within one but ultimately fell short and were defeated by the Mississippi RiverKings, 5-4, Friday night at the Landers Center. Roanoke out-shot Mississippi, 43-30, in the losing effort.
Trailing 5-2 late in the third, Roanoke was granted a power play after a tripping minor called against Mississippi's Brantley Sherwood. David Gandara blocked the RiverKings clearing attempt and teed up Mitchell Mueller for a one-timer. Mueller blasted it past Tyler Green and cut the deficit down to 5-3.
Still down two in the final minutes of the period, Roanoke pulled Ryan de Melo in favor on an extra attacker. The Dawgs would control and cycle the puck in their offensive zone and eventually find Travis Armstrong at the left point. Armstrong fired a slap shot that found its way through traffic and past Green, making the score 5-4 with 42 seconds to go.
The Rail Yard Dawgs kept the pressure in the final seconds of the game but were unable to crack Green one more time. Nick Schneider's last one-timer sailed wide as the horn sounded with a 5-4 final score.
Mississippi jumped out to its lead thanks to three goals in the first period - Daniel Tedesco, Derek Sutliffe and Dillan Fox each cashed in. Riley Spraggs got the Dawgs on the board late in the first with a wrister from the slot off a won faceoff.
Fox extended the RiverKings lead on a shorthanded breakaway near the halfway point of the second period. Roanoke answered in just 12 seconds however when Schneider sprung Gandara for a rush. He buried a snap shot low on the blocker side to make it a two-goal game. Mississippi pushed its advantage to 5-2 when Pijus Rulevicious beat de Melo from the high slot in the final minute of the second. That goal would serve as the eventual game-winner.
Zach Tatrn registered three assists and Gandara had a goal and an assist to pace the Roanoke offense. Brad Barone started in net for the Dawgs and was chased after allowing three goals on eight shots. de Melo stopped 20 of the 22 he faced in relief but went down as the losing goaltender. Roanoke managed a season-high 43 shots on net in the loss.