Rail Yard Dawgs (11-18-3) vs Ice Bears
LAST TIME OUT: Brad Barone made 24 saves during regulation and overtime then stopped all five Birmingham attempts in the shootout as the Rail Yard Dawgs blanked the Bulls, 1-0, Saturday night at Berglund Center. John Gustafsson scored the lone goal in the shootout to give Roanoke the edge. Birmingham's Mavric Parks was the tough-luck loser after making 32 saves and four of five in the shootout.
The Rail Yard Dawgs record at home is just 7-10-1 on the season but has improved as of late. Roanoke came out on top in four of its past five home games, most recently the 1-0 shootout win over Birmingham on Saturday. Prior to this stretch, the Dawgs had won just one of their previous six games on Berglund Center ice.
Four times this season the Rail Yard Dawgs have needed a shootout to decide the victor of a game and four times Roanoke has come out on top. The Rail Yard Dawgs are 8-3 overall in games that need overtime and 4-3 when they are decided in the five-minute 3-on-3 period.
Steve Mele played in his 100 th career SPHL game on Saturday. Over his time in the SPHL, Mele has recorded 37 goals and 63 assists, a point-per-game average. He has also played in 109 games across the ECHL/CHL since finishing his college hockey career at American International College in 2013.
The Ice Bears enter the weekend with points in nine of their last 11 games and tied for fifth in the SPHL. Knoxville's high-powered offense has boosted performance- it scores an average of 3.8 goals per game, the second-best goal-scoring offense in the SPHL. The Ice Bears also lead the league in penalty killing at 88.6%.
Roanoke will play Knoxville a total of ten times this season with four of those games scheduled to take place between February 2 and February 18. The Dawgs are 1-3-0 in their four games vs Knoxville thus far this season.
SPECIAL TEAMS: The Rail Yard Dawgs have had a mixed bag during special teams play as of late. In its last five games, Roanoke is just 2-for-25 on the power play. During the same span however, the Dawgs have killed off 17 of 18 penalties.
Brad Barone stopped 56 of the 58 shots he faced over two games last weekend and for his efforts was called up to the ECHL's Reading Royals. Over 21 games played and 16 starts this season, he is 6-10-1 with a 3.44 GAA and .911 SV%. To fill his spot, the Dawgs have added Roanoke local Mark Shifflett as an emergency backup.
GAME STATS - ROANOKE RAIL YARD DAWGS: ( 11-18-3 ), 8 th SPHL, 25 Pts
KNOXVILLE ICE BEARS: (1 9-11-2 ), T-5 th SPHL, 40 Pts
Friday, February 2, 2018 - 7:05 PM Berglund Center - Roanoke, VA Broadcast: SPHL Live | Mixlr
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- Rail Yard Dawgs (11-18-3) vs Ice Bears - Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs